Dick Bennett Adds Assistant Coach to His Staff

April 22, 2004

PULLMAN, Wash. -- Washington State University Head Men's Basketball Coach Dick Bennett announced the hiring of Ben Johnson as an assistant coach for the Cougars, Thursday.

Although Johnson may not be familiar with Pullman, he is no stranger to the Cougar coaching staff. Johnson played for Dick Bennett at Wisconsin-Green Bay for four seasons (1989-92) and was a teammate of WSU Assistant Coach Tony Bennett during that time. In addition, Johnson spent seven seasons (1995-2002) as an assistant coach under current Washington State Assistant Basketball Coach Mike Heideman at his alma mater.

'There is no greater satisfaction for me than to hire one of my all-time favorite players,' Dick Bennett said. 'Ben Johnson was one of the two truly great defensive players I have coached.'

Bennett added, 'He is an accomplished coach having been an assistant at Wisconsin-Green Bay and a head coach in Australia. He also has experience as a professional player in Australia for a number of years. I wanted to hire Ben when I came to Washington State, but he was under contract in Australia at the time.'

Johnson spent time as a player/coach in Australia from 1993-95 and 2002-04. He was the head coach for the Kuiyam Pride Under 23 Men and Kuiyam Pride Women in the Australian Basketball Association (2002-04). In 2003, he was named Women's Australian Basketball Association Coach of the Year.

A native of Stevens Point, Wis., Johnson graduated from Wisconsin-Green Bay with a degree in communication. He replaces Mike Burns, who left WSU after one year to become the head coach at Eastern Washington.

'I am extremely grateful because this is a tremendous opportunity for me to join coach Bennett and his staff at Washington State,' Johnson said. 'I look forward to helping the Cougars bring great student-athletes to the Pullman community and the University.'

Now on Pac-12 Network
9:00 PM PT

Airing on:

  • Pac-12 Network