Junior college transfer brings life lessons to court
Culture change still a process as second year begins
Entire LA Tech staff uses family mentality in recruiting
Techsters open up exhibition play Saturday at 7 p.m. at TAC
Lady Techsters particiapte in fundraiser for Kay Yow Foundation
With his eyes set on returning the championship culture to Louisiana Tech, Tyler Summitt added some more Tennessee flavor when he hired Bernitha Johnson as an assistant coach on his staff last year.
Johnson spent her time in Knoxville as a manager for Pat Summitt's teams for three and a half years while Smith just completed her first season as a graduate assistant for the Lady Vols.
"Bernitha is a tremendous addition to the Louisiana Tech family," Summitt said. "She is a very loyal person and is an extremely hard worker. Being from Mississippi, Bernitha has the background, knowledge and passion to dominate as our recruiting coordinator. She is a proven recruiter, having recruited multiple rookies of the year."
During her first year in Ruston, Johnson was an integral part in helping Louisiana Tech sign a stellar recruiting class, a group that will be the foundation for the next four years for the Lady Techster program. The class included players from Louisiana, Texas, Florida, Mississippi and Kentucky.
Johnson came to Ruston after spending two seasons as an assistant coach at Buffalo where she helped lead the program to a 17-13 record during her final year. The recruiting coordinator for the Bulls, Johnson worked with both the posts and guards helping UB to 18 conference wins and an appearance in the MAC Tournament quarterfinals both years.
Prior to her time at Buffalo, Johnson served on the coaching staff at Binghamton University where she was hired in 2005. Johnson was promoted to associate head coach and recruiting coordinator for the Bearcats during her time with the program. She recruited a pair of America East Conference Rookie of the Year honorees and also served as the academic liaison between the team and the academic services department.
Johnson, a native of Waynesboro State, Mississippi, graduated from Tennessee in May 2005 with a bachelor's degree in sports management. In her role with the Lady Vols program, Johnson prepared game breakdowns of offenses and defenses, while assisting in film exchange, various practice drills and recruiting visits.
Summitt said that in addition to her main role of recruiting, Johnson would help with on-court coaching, skill development and scouting.