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Johnson gets new duties, takes over as Findlay head coach

Andy Johnson’s job description has changed drastically during his time at Findlay Prep.

When Johnson first arrived as an assistant coach in 2009, he shared a house with the players, and one of his primary responsibilities was to conduct individual workouts during the evening.

He has been in charge of team meals. This past season, Johnson oversaw all aspects of the boys basketball team, including scheduling and recruiting.

“After five years, I’ve done everything in the program you could possibly do,” Johnson said Wednesday. “It’s been a great learning opportunity every year to take on more responsibility. It’s been a great ride.”

Johnson certainly paid his dues before being named the fifth head coach in Findlay Prep’s eight-year history on Tuesday. He replaces Jerome Williams, who was dismissed after one season.

“This is definitely a dream job here for me to have this opportunity,” Johnson said. “I’m excited to keep the Findlay Prep tradition going.”

Johnson, 30, served as associate head coach and program director of Findlay Prep last season, when the Pilots went 31-5 and reached the semifinals of the High School National Tournament. A UNLV graduate, Johnson spent four seasons as an aide to former Rebels coach Lon Kruger before joining Findlay Prep as an assistant coach in 2009.

During Johnson’s time at Findlay Prep, the Pilots won the 2010 and 2012 National High School Invitational titles and have gone 158-13.

Johnson doesn’t expect to radically alter the playing style the Pilots used under predecessors Michael Peck, Todd Simon or Williams.

“We will continue the Findlay way and base our program on attitude and effort,” Johnson said. “We might pick up full court and press more and get out in transition more to take advantage of the speed of some of our players. But we’ll keep being a defensive-oriented program.”

Johnson said he expects most of Findlay Prep’s players with eligibility remaining to return for the 2014-15 season. The Pilots featured two freshmen, three sophomores and two juniors last season, including UNLV recruiting targets Horace Spencer (class of 2015) and Derryck Thornton (class of 2016). There were also several international players, mostly notably Canadians Justin Jackson, one of the nation’s top prospects in the class of 2016, and rising senior Dillon Brooks.

“I’m really excited for the returners,” Johnson said. “They laid a great foundation for us last year, and they’re excited to get back to work and continue on.”

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