West Aurora import eager to get Knights rolling
MAPLE PARKâ€”Tuesday morning had the usual cast of characters when it comes to KHS boys basketball.
Your Dudzinskis and your Bayleys were there at the East Gym, but the gray-shirted player leading the camp was a new face.
Getting in the action and giving instruction to the Kaneland players, however, made him look like heâ€™s always been part of the fabric.
Meet Brian Johnson, the new head varsity basketball coach for the Kaneland Knights.
Johnson was offered the position last week and accepted, with the word officially coming down at the Kaneland School Board meeting on Monday. KHS sent out a press release detailing the appointment.
Johnson comes to the Knights after being a varsity assistant at West Aurora.
Johnson, who is set to teach P.E. and drivers Ed, takes over for Dennis Hansen, whose resignation was accepted after three years of coaching.
â€œItâ€™s definitely a unique situation,â€ Johnson said. â€œAll I can ask the guys is to make the adjustment. I donâ€™t know what happened before 100 percent, but I can only let the guys know what I expect of them and ask them to give me their best.â€
Johnson, a Sugar Grove resident, is no stranger to the court, having played at St. Edward High School and Judson College, both in Elgin, at the next level.
â€œWe used to play Kaneland at regional time in high school. It was time to get to a place that I admired from a distance. I want to coach kids that have the type of mentality that I had as a player and work hard all the time,â€Johnson said.
Johnson led the players through a two-hour camp that concludes with everyone shaking hands. A little touch that he doesnâ€™t take complete credit for.
â€œI stole that from Lance Huber over at Dundee-Crown, who I had the pleasure and honor of working with for six years. Itâ€™s that blue-collar thing. We work hard, weâ€™re still teammates, we shake it out afterwards.â€
Johnson knows that the feeling-out process has to end soon and then preparation for the 2009-10 season begins.
â€œI know we have some players who are highly-touted. Weâ€™re going to use that to the best of our ability.
The Knights finished 13-13 in 2007-08 and lost in their opening round contest in February to Hampshire, 47-38.
Photo: New Kaneland High School varsity boys basketball head coach Brian
Johnson gets down to business during Tuesday morningâ€™s basketball camp at KHS. Johnson, who comes over from West Aurora, will also teach P.E. and drivers ed. Photo by Mike Slodki