In his 20 seasons as the head coach of the UW-Stevens Point wrestling program, Johnny Johnson has established a very successful coaching résumé.
Johnson is in his 21st season as the Pointers’ head coach and 25th year overall in the UW-Stevens Point program in 2018-19. This will mark Johnson’s 33rd year in the college coaching ranks. He has coached 53 wrestlers in the national meet and boasts a 73-42-1 WIAC dual meet record.
Johnson earned his 100th career dual meet victory at UW-Stevens Point on Jan. 3, 2009. In 2011, Johnson passed Marty Loy as the UWSP winningest coach and is only the second head coach in UWSP history to tally more than 100 victories and in 2013 was named the WIAC Coach of the Year.
Johnson led UW-Stevens Point to top-12 national finishes in five consecutive years from 2002-06. The Pointers have also finished in the top three in the WIAC every season during Johnson’s tenure, including an undefeated season in WIAC dual meets in 2003-04. Johnson’s 2011 team also posted an eighth-place finish at the NWCA National duals.
Johnson has also coached five wrestlers to six NCAA Championships. Yan White was a three-time national finalist who won the national title in 2002. Cody Koenig and Brad Marten claimed national titles in 2003, when the Pointers achieved a school record third-place finish at the national meet. Logan Hermsen won his second national championship in 2017.
Overall, Johnson has trained 30 All-Americans. Johnson guided six wrestlers to the national meet in 2007 where the Pointers finished 10th. Johnson has also helped 25 individuals secure WIAC championships, five of which won the John Peterson Outstanding Wrestler of the Meet award. Additionally, Johnson has had 37 NWCA Scholar All-Americans, including Mike Hayes (2006) & Jared Kust (2016) who each won the WIAC Max Sparger Scholar Athlete of the Year. In 2015 & 2016 Johnson’s teams were in the top ten NWCA Scholar All-American teams finishing 3rd & 8th respectively.
Prior to becoming head coach, Johnson served as the Pointers’ top assistant and the state coach for the Wisconsin Wrestling Federation. During that time, Johnson was a member of USA Wrestling’s National Coaching Pool and in 1996 served as the head coach of the Junior World Team, taking the team to compete in St. Petersburg, Russia.
Before coming to UW-Stevens Point, Johnson served as an assistant coach at the University of Minnesota for eight seasons. There he was instrumental in developing 18 All-Americans, 10 Big Ten champions, and a No. 1 dual team ranking in 1994.
Johnson wrestled collegiately at the University of Oklahoma, where he was a two-time Division I All-American for the Sooners while compiling 112-22-2 record. He was part of two NCAA runner-up teams and finished 6th at the 1984 Olympic Team trials. After college, he gained considerable international experience as a member of three U.S. National teams and an alternate to the 1988 U.S. Olympic team.
Having completed his bachelor’s degree in journalism at Oklahoma and his master’s in education at UW-Stevens Point, Johnson developed and coordinated the Adventure Education program in the School Physical Education & Athletic Training at UW-Stevens Point from 2001-2015.
A native of Midwest City, Okla., Johnny and his wife, Julie, have three children – son, Jesse, and daughters, Taylor and Gabrialla. They reside in Plover.