SHARON – Penn State Shenango’s Interim Director of Athletics David Jackson recently announced Daniel Johnson as the campus’s new head women’s basketball coach. Johnson will lead a program that will begin play in the 2021-22 season, funded largely through a $20,000 gift from the Penn State Shenango Alumni Society.
Before coming to Penn State Shenango, Johnson had been coaching high school in Florida for the past three years. While there, he coached two McDonald’s All-American nominees and his teams finished multiple times in the top 20 in the state for Class 3A.
Johnson elaborated on his new opportunity, “I’m looking to hit the ground fast with recruiting student-athletes to Penn State Shenango and telling them everything this campus has to offer.”
Penn State Shenango Alumni Society President Carl Aaron Sizer said, “The growth of athletic programs is critical to overall campus growth. The Alumni Society’s commitment to widening the offerings at our campus has been unrivaled and making a $20,000 pledge to the women’s basketball program continues our commitment. It’s our Society’s belief that this pledge will continue to send the strong message that our campus and alumni support women’s athletics.”
“I am excited to have Coach Johnson join the Penn State Shenango Athletics family,” Jackson said. “He displays the passion, energy, vision, and experience we were searching for in a candidate to lead our new women’s basketball program. Daniel’s familiarity with the USCAA, ties to Northeast Ohio, and tireless work ethic are the reasons I believe he will create meaningful relationships in the community and build a competitive team on the court and more importantly in the classroom.”
Johnson’s last collegiate coaching position was at the University of Maine at Fort Kent. He recruited a team with no returning student-athletes in four months. He also arranged three games against NCAA D-I teams (Marshall, Maine and UMass) over the next two years. He led his team to a finish of 16-11 and finished ranked 10 in the United States Collegiate Athletic Association (USCAA) D1 Coaches Poll.
Johnson also served at NCAA Division II Malone University as an assistant for the 2015-2016 season. While at Malone, Johnson was largely responsible for the largest recruiting class ever at the university in women’s basketball. He was in charge of scheduling all non-conference games and securing guarantee games from NCAA Division I teams. In addition, he was the academic liaison and coordinator for the team and the leader for team film sessions and film exchange. Coach Johnson assisted in running summer camps and day-to-day operations of the women’s basketball program. He helped to coach one student-athlete to the all-conference team.
Before coaching at Malone, Johnson served as the head women’s basketball coach, psychology of coaching instructor, and sport management instructor at Crossroads College. At Crossroads, Johnson re-started a basketball team that was defunct for the two previous years. Although the team was formed with only two players who had previous basketball or athletic backgrounds, they successfully competed against teams at the NAIA, NCAA Division III and NCCAA levels. While at Crossroads, Johnson also had four athletes named academic all-American.
Prior to Crossroads, Johnson served as the head women’s basketball coach at Kent State University-Tuscarawas. At KSU-Tuscarawas, a fellow USCAA team, he took a team that was 8-36 over the previous two years and guided them to a 9-13 overall record and a spot in the conference quarterfinals.
As a high school coach in Florida, Johnson’s teams won one district championship and also had three district runner-up finishes. Johnson guided high school teams to two regional quarterfinal berths and one state sweet sixteen appearance. During his high school coaching career, he had one All-American, five all-state honorees, and 14 all-county student-athletes.
Johnson also served in the Florida Army National Guard and the United States Navy. He earned an Associates of Medical Assisting, a Bachelors of Business Administration concentrating in Human Resource Management, and a Masters in Coaching and Athletic Administration from Concordia University.