The Virginia Tech basketball program suffered more coaching turnover on Friday when it was announced that Associate Head Coach James Johnson is departing for a position of the staff at Clemson.
Clemson coach Brad Brownell hired Johnson away from the Hokies for a salary of $185,000 – a $45,000 increase from his salary at Virginia Tech. He is the second assistant coach to leave the staff this year. Rob Ehsan, who spent just one season in Blacksburg, left to take an assistant job at UAB. Director of Basketball Operations Jeff Wulbrun also left for UAB, where he was elevated to the position of Assistant Coach.
Last May, Ehsan replaced Adrian Autry, who left Virginia Tech to join the staff at Syracuse. Before the 2010 season, Bill Courtney left for the head coaching position at Cornell, and Ryan Odom departed Tech for a job at Charlotte. Before that, Stacey Palmore left Tech to take a job on the staff at Georgia.
James Johnson will become the top assistant at Clemson. He was the longest tenured assistant on Seth Greenberg’s staff, having been hired in 2007. He was considered the best recruit on the staff amongst the assistants since he was hired. Robert Brown, C.J. Barksdale, Marshall Wood, Erick Green, Cadarian Raines were all James Johnson targets since 2009, and he also did the initial recruitment for Dorian Finney-Smith before John Richardson was hired. Seth Greenberg also played a prominent role in the recruitment of those prospects.
Greenberg now has three openings on his staff to fill. He must find a new Director of Basketball Operations, and he must also find two assistant coaches. Expect Greenberg to move quickly, as the last half of April is a very important evaluation period for underclass recruits, and the Spring Signing Period for the 2012 class began two days ago.