Gene Johnson (coach)

  (Redirected from Gene Johnson (basketball))

Eugene Raymond Johnson (February 14, 1902 – December 27, 1989) was an American football and basketball coach. Some sources list him as the head coach of the 1936 United States Olympic Basketball team[1] and other sources give that honor to Jimmy Needles and state that Johnson was the assistant coach.[2] His innovations in basketball include being credited with creating the full court press.[3]

Gene Johnson
Gene Johnson WSU.jpg
Johnson from the 1930 Parnassus
Biographical details
Born(1902-02-14)February 14, 1902
Emporia, Kansas
DiedDecember 27, 1989(1989-12-27) (aged 87)
Overland Park, Kansas
Playing career
?College of Emporia
?Emporia State
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1928–1933Wichita State
1938–1943Kansas Wesleyan
1955–1957Wichita Vickers
1957–1958Kansas City Kaycees
1959–1960Buchan Bakers
1938–1942Kansas Wesleyan
Head coaching record
Overall160–59 (basketball)
19–16–9 (football)
Accomplishments and honors
KCAC (1940)


Wichita UniversityEdit

In 1928, at the age of 26, Johnson was named head coach at Wichita University (now called Wichita State University) in Wichita, Kansas. Johnson's teams compiled a record of 74 wins and 24 losses in his five years as head coach of the "Shockers". He led the Shockers to a Central Intercollegiate Conference co-championship in 1933 (his last season at the school) and the team finished second three times and third once.[4]

McPherson Globe Refiners (AAU)Edit

After coaching at Wichita University, Johnson left for a coaching career in the Amateur Athletic Union, coaching the McPherson Globe Refiners to a national title and later coaching the Wichita Vickers.

USA Olympic BasketballEdit

Johnson was an assistant coach of the first United States Olympic basketball team in 1936. Several of his players in his AAU teams, including his brother Francis Johnson.[clarification needed]

Kansas WesleyanEdit

In 1938, Johnson went to Kansas Wesleyan University to become the head basketball coach. He led the team to several conference championships and as of 2005 holds the second-most wins for a single season at the school.[5]

College footballEdit

Johnson was the tenth head football coach at Kansas Wesleyan, serving for five seasons, from 1938 until 1942, and compiling a record of 19–16–9. [6]

In 1940, the team was declared conference champions of the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference by outscoring their opponents for the season 131 to 46 and by winning every home game.[7]


In 1955–56 and 1956–57 Johnson coached the Wichita Vickers of the AAU National Industrial Basketball League. In 1957–58, he coached the Kansas City Kaycees and in 1959–60 he coached the NIBL Seattle Buchan Bakers.[8][9]

Head coaching recordEdit


Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs
Kansas Wesleyan Coyotes (Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference) (1938–1942)
1938 Kansas Wesleyan 2–6–1 1–4 T–5th
1939 Kansas Wesleyan 2–2–4 2–2–2 T–3rd
1940 Kansas Wesleyan 6–1–2 5–0–1 1st
1941 Kansas Wesleyan 4–3 4–2 4th
1942 Kansas Wesleyan 5–4–2 3–1–2 3rd
Kansas Wesleyan: 19–16–9 15–9–5
Total: 19–16–9
      National championship         Conference title         Conference division title or championship game berth


  1. ^ Topeka Capital-Journal "Foster among inductees" By Kevin Haskin, May 23, 2004
  2. ^ The golden age of amateur basketball: the AAU Tournament 1921-1968 By Adolph H. Grundman, page 47
  3. ^ Wichita State University Archived July 18, 2011, at the Wayback Machine Gene Johnson (Basketball Coach, 1928-33)
  4. ^ Kansas Sports Hall of Fame[permanent dead link] Gene Johnson
  5. ^ Kansas Wesleyan University Archived September 4, 2006, at the Wayback Machine 2005 Basketball Media Guide.
  6. ^ College Football Data Warehouse Archived October 14, 2012, at the Wayback Machine Kansas Wesleyan Coyotes coaching records
  7. ^ College Football Data Warehouse Kansas Wesleyan University Football Results - 1940
  8. ^ "National Industrial Basketball League Rosters".
  9. ^ "Seattle Buchan Bakers Rosters".

External linksEdit