Tonya Johnson, who came with head coach Fran Flory to LSU prior to the 1998 season, returns to LSU for her fifth season on the bench as an assistant coach.
In her four-year stint, Johnson has helped LSU rise from the lower half of the conference to a fourth-place finish in the SEC a season ago. Johnson looks to continue that improvement this year.
As the team’s top assistant, Johnson handles a majority of the Tigers recruiting and is responsible for much of the current roster choosing LSU. As captain on the Tigers’ first Final Four team in 1990, she is familiar with the type of outstanding players it takes to be successful on a national scale.
“Tonya has developed into someone that does most of our recruiting,” said Flory. “She has a great eye for talent and she has a very good balance of her recruiting and her ability to coach and develop those recruits.”
Heading into her eighth year as an assistant to Flory, the duo has developed the kind of continuity that leads to success on the court.
“I think she’s done a great job of balancing me and anytime you have somebody who’s coached together for this long, we don’t really have to talk a whole lot,” Flory added. “We can just look at each other and walk out and know what we’re supposed to do, so she is invaluable to me on and off the court.”
In 1995, Johnson began her collegiate coaching career at the University of Kentucky. She spent three seasons with the Wildcats under Flory before joining Flory’s staff at LSU in 1998.
A native of Zachary, La., Johnson was a four-year letterwinner at LSU from 1987-1990. Her playing days culminated as a senior in 1990 with the trip to the national semifinal. She won consecutive SEC titles in 1989 and 1990 as well.
“Tonya certainly has a tremendous desire to see this program go to the next level and be in the NCAA tournament and be successful like they were in the early ’90’s,” Flory said. “That’s where we’re headed, that’s everybody’s goal to start the season, to still be playing in December.”
Prior to joining the collegiate coaching ranks, Johnson taught at Wellington Landings Middle School in Boca Raton, Fla. While teaching, Johnson coached the Florida Gold Coast club team and served as an assistant coach at Olympic Heights High School.
The Johnson File
Name: Tonya Doral Johnson
Birthdate: September 1, 1968
Hometown: Zachary, La.
College: LSU, 1993
College Coaching Experience
1998- Assistant Coach, LSU
1995-97 Assistant Coach, Kentucky
College Playing Experience
1987-90 Outside Hitter, LSU