Newman University names Bethel’s Drew Johnson women’s basketball head coach

Drew Johnson is moving form the head women's basketball coach at Bethel College to guide the...
Drew Johnson is moving form the head women's basketball coach at Bethel College to guide the women's program at Newman University.
Published: Apr. 29, 2021 at 4:30 PM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - News release from Newman University Athletic Dept.

Newman University has named Drew Johnson its head women’s basketball coach effective May 4. Johnson comes to Newman from Bethel College.Newman Athletic Director Joanna Pryor believes the future is bright for the Jets’ women program with the addition of Johnson,.

“I am very pleased to announce Drew Johnson as our next women’s basketball coach. He brings great energy and enthusiasm to our program. ”He has great local connections that will be used to bring Newman women’s basketball what it needs to be able to compete in the MIAA,” Pryor added.

Johnson recently completed his fourth season at Bethel and led the team to its first ever NAIA National Tournament appearance. In 2017-18, Johnson took over the Threshers women’s program which had a 4-26 record the season prior to his hiring. Bethel tripled its previous win total in Johnson’s first season going 12-18. In his second season, he led Bethel to a historic 20-10 season, setting a new school mark for wins. During the 2018-19 season, Johnson’s team broke numerous program records and hosted its first KCAC postseason contest inside Thresher Gym in eight years.

During his four seasons at Bethel, Johnson coached nine ALL-KCAC honorees and three All-American selections. Johnson turned Abby Schmidt, an under-recruited forward from Newton, Kansas, into a three time All-American selection. During Schmidt’s four seasons, she accrued a KCAC Conference record of 1,399 career rebounds, was a three time KCAC Defensive Player of the Year and three time First Team All-Conference selection.

Johnson says he plans to bring his proven player development mentality with him to Newman.”I am incredibly excited and honored to be named Newman University’s next women’s basketball coach. Newman has been such a friendly and welcoming environment from the first moment I stepped onto campus. I am incredibly excited about taking over the program. The work starts now. I want to thank President Dr. Kathleen Jagger, Athletic Director Joanna Pryor and the rest of the Newman University leadership team for entrusting me with the great privilege of leading this program. The student athletes at Newman have an incredible opportunity to excel on the court, in the classroom, and in the greater Newman community,” Johnson said.

Before taking over the helm at Bethel, Johnson coached high school basketball for nine years (Valley Center, Derby, and Clay Center) and on the AAU circuit with the Ohlde Elite, a program he co-founded. During his time coaching at the high school and club levels, he coached players that went on to play in the Big XII, Big East, Ivy League, Missouri Valley, Summitt, MIAA and KCAC.

Johnson graduated from Friends University with a Bachelor’s of Science in Education. At Friends, Johnson was a two-year captain and four-year starter on the football team. He was also an All-KCAC selection as a punter. Drew currently resides in Newton, Kan. with his wife, former WNBA star Nicole Ohlde-Johnson, and their son.

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