Johnson Leaves Hobart Head Coaching Post
from staff reports
T.W. Johnson is leaving Hobart to take over the lacrosse
program and serve as athletic director at his alma mater,
Nansemond-Suffolk Academy in Virginia.
In the first Division I men's head coaching move of the offseason, Hobart announced that T.W. Johnson has left the program after nine seasons, including the past five as head coach. Johnson will return to his high school alma mater to serve as athletic administrator and lacrosse coach. A search for Johnson's replacement at Hobart will begin immediately with the intention of hiring a new coach this summer.
"T.W. has served Hobart College and the Hobart lacrosse community with commitment and integrity," says Vice President for Student Affairs Robb Flowers. "He has dedicated himself to his student-athletes, cultivating an environment that emphasizes a balance between academics and athletics, and that rewards diligence, scholarship and character. He will be greatly missed."
Johnson will be the new director of boys' athletics and boys' lacrosse coach at Nansemond-Suffolk Academy in Suffolk, Va., an independent K-12 school from which he graduated.
"Through his actions on and off the field, T.W. has shown that he is a man of character who leads by example," says Athletic Director Mike Hanna '68. "I have been impressed by his skill as a coach, his mentorship to his assistant coaches, and his dedication to the sport. Certainly, the young men he has mentored have benefited greatly from his dedication and insight into the game. He will be missed by staff, faculty and student-athletes alike. Along with them and our fans, I offer him our gratitude for a job well done and best wishes for this special leadership opportunity."
Hobart is now without a coach and without a conference beyond the spring 2014 season. After various conference realignment moves, the ECAC is down to three teams for the 2014-15 year: Hobart, Bellarmine and Air Force, all which are likely to seek new homes.
As head coach at Hobart, Johnson's influence on the Statesmen is reflected in the 28 ECAC All-Academic, 10 All-ECAC, six North-South All-Star, two USILA Scholar All-American, and two USILA All-American awards earned by his student-athletes. A strong recruiter, Johnson's Class of 2016 was rated among the top 20 in the nation by Inside Lacrosse, and featured two of the top 40 attackmen in the nation and a defenseman rated in the top 25. After eight seasons as a head coach (including three seasons at Limestone College), his career record stands at 66-51 (.564).
"I am grateful to have had the opportunity to serve one of the most impressive lacrosse teams in the country," explains Johnson. "It has been an honor to coach these young men for nine seasons, to witness the investment that HWS alums have generously made in the facilities and in the team, and to see the wonderful progress that has resulted. My family and I will miss the Colleges, the community and most especially the students, parents and alums."
Hobart played a highly competitive schedule in 2013, facing six teams ranked in the Inside Lacrosse/Face-Off Yearbook top 20. The Statesmen finished the year with a 6-8 record, a two-win improvement over 2012. Hobart scored impressive upsets of No. 15 Colgate, No. 20 Bellarmine and No. 3 Syracuse. On March 5, the Statesmen trailed the Raiders 8-7 in the fourth quarter, but scored late to force overtime and won in extra time for the first time since 2004. In Louisville, Ky., a month later, Hobart weathered a late Bellarmine rally that tied the game and necessitated OT. A goal with 49 seconds left marked the Statesmen's first ever double overtime win. Just three days later, Hobart overcame the Orangemen in overtime for a 13-12 win.
"Thanks to T.W., the coaching staff and Mike Hanna, we have another strong recruiting class due to arrive on campus this fall and an impressive nucleus of returning players," says Flowers. "We will capitalize on the momentum and energy the program is experiencing as we immediately begin the search for a new head coach, with a planned hire date of mid-summer."
Johnson came to Hobart in 2004 following three seasons as the head coach at Limestone College. During his tenure with the Saints, Johnson posted an impressive record of 41-7 (.854), including a perfect 19-0 in Deep South Conference play and 9-0 in the Deep South Tournament. Johnson managed Limestone to three consecutive conference championships and three NCAA Division II Championship games, capturing the 2002 title.
Johnson, the 2004 Francis L. "Babe" Kraus Division II Coach of the Year, mentored 22 All-Deep South selections, including three straight Deep South Players of the Year. He also coached 16 USILA All-Americans, including two Division II Players of the Year.
Prior to his time at Limestone, Johnson served as an assistant coach at Lynchburg College for five years, helping the Hornets to their first NCAA Tournament appearance in 1999.
A native of Chesapeake, Va., Johnson is a 1996 graduate of Hampden-Sydney College, where he earned a bachelor's degree in history. The three-year starting defenseman served as team captain as a senior. In 1995, he led the Tigers to the Old Dominion Athletic Conference championship and an NCAA Tournament berth. In 1998, he earned a master's degree in education from Lynchburg.
Currently a member of the USILA All-America Committee, Johnson served as a head coach in the 2011 USILA North-South All-Star Game.