Johnson Hires his Staff

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A little over a week after being introduced as the head man at Virginia Tech, James Johnson has completed his coaching staff.  Johnson hired Kurt Kanaskie, Mark Byington and Ramon Williams to serve as his assistant coaches.

Kurt Kanaskie comes to Tech after serving as Navy’s associate head coach for one season under Ed DeChellis.  Prior to that, he was on DeChellis’s staff at Penn State for eight years.  He has served as a head coach at Division II Lock Haven and Indiana University of Pennsylvania, where he rebuilt two programs that were historically losers.  He took over a Drake program in 1996 that was on probation, but failed to have a winning record in seven years as the head coach.

Here’s a quick look at Kanaskie’s career.

  • 1980-85: South Carolina assistant
  • 1985-88: Lock Haven head coach
  • 1988-96: Indiana University of PA head coach
  • 1996-03: Drake head coach
  • 2003-11: Penn State Assistant
  • 2011-12: Navy Assistant

Kanaskie had seven straight winning records at IUP after inheriting a program that had posted four straight losing records.  His Lock Haven team won 15 games in his first season after posting a combined 18 wins the previous four seasons.  Kanaskie coached at Penn State with James Johnson from 2003-05.

Mark Byington comes to Tech from the College of Charleston, where he served as Interim Head Coach for part of this past season when Bobby Cremins retired.  Byington is originally from Salem, VA, and he has coached with James Johnson at the College of Charleston.
Byington’s bio looks like this…

  • 1998 graduate of UNC-Wilmington, where he was an All-Conference player
  • Assistant coach at Hargrave
  • Director of Basketball Operations at UVA
  • Masters in Sports Psychology from UVA
  • Nine seasons on the staff at the College of Charleston

Byington was State Player of the Year as a senior at Salem High School.

Ramon Williams is the final assistant.  He was a standout at VMI, and he is a Roanoke native.  He was an All-Conference player at VMI, and he finished his career as the school’s third leading scorer and still holds the school record for three-pointers in a game and a season.  He graduated from VMI in 1990.

Here’s a quick look at his career…

  • Nine seasons on the staff at VMI
  • Three seasons on the staff at Richmond
  • Four years on the staff at DePaul
  • Three years on the staff at Ohio

Williams spent his last three seasons at Ohio, where he helped guide the Bobcats to two NCAA Tournaments, including a Sweet 16 berth this past season.

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9 Responses You are logged in as Test

  1. No matter who CJJ hired short of some name coaches we can’t afford there are going to be questions. These guys all know the coaching gig, they’re youthful and full of energy, they’re resolute, so it’s just a matter of fit and getting settled. And so, all we can do is be patient until our new coaching staff makes something happen…sometime…whenever.

    My biggest concern is players. Losing Finney-Smith and Harris really hurts…losing one you could live with, but both(?) ouch! We only have 8 scholie players. They are all good, but every team needs to be near the max on scholie players to even just practice 5 on 5. Late in the season 8 overworked guys are going to start petering out.

    The first piece of good news that needs to come from our new coaching tenure is a high quality “get” recruit…maybe the point guard. This late in the year I doubt it’s going to happen…it’d be a miracle, a steal. CJJ is starting out in a hole, but I see him as a “glass is half full” guy. As a coach you have to optimistic in this situation

  2. GO HOKIES!!!!

    It appears they have experience in coaching people up. Particularly Kanaskie. He got some local guys with knowledge of the area and different coaching venues. Like the ’69 Mets Ya gotta believe!

    Good Luck and once again, GO HOKIES!!!!

    1. well in DC we really didn’t have a winter this year so I guess its a good a time as any.

    1. Penn State, Uva-C, NCAA tourneys, sweet 16… what more could you ask for from assistants?

  3. Now go earn your pay and bring in some good players now. You can find a place to stay latter.

  4. I am assuming that Kanaskie is the Associate Head Coach, Byington #2, and Williams #3. has there been any buzz regarding DBO?

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