Sydney Johnson, who led the Princeton University Tigers to a 25-7 season and a National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) berth in 2010-11, is the 12th head coach of the Stags men’s basketball program. Johnson comes to Fairfield after spending the last four seasons as head coach for Princeton.
He was introduced to the Fairfield community, media, and fans at an April 6 press conference in the John A. Barone Campus Center.
“He leads by example, something that is quite visible when you see the passion and enthusiasm he brings to everything he does,” said Athletic Director Gene Doris.
Johnson said his goal is to win championships, to reach the NCAA tournament, and for Fairfield to play the kind of exciting games that are televised. “We’re going to state that boldly,” he said. “That is our goal. And we need the love and support of this tremendous University. I can’t tell you enough how thrilled I am … and you’ll see it. We plan to do great things.”
Johnson replaces former Head Coach Ed Cooley, who took the Stags to a Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) regular season title and the second round of the National Invitation Tournament (NIT) this year before accepting an offer to return to his hometown and coach the Providence College men’s squad. The Stags ended the 2010-11 season with a school record 25 wins and high hopes for the future with nine returning players.
Johnson led the Tigers to the 2010-11 Ivy League championship and an automatic berth to the NCAA tournament. It marked the second straight season that the program advanced to postseason play.
Coach Johnson was named the Ivy League Coach of the Year by Collegeinsider.com after the 2008-09 and 2009-10 seasons.
A former student-athlete at Princeton, he helped lead the Tigers to the NCAA tournament in the 1995-96 and 1996-97 seasons. He was the 1997 Ivy League Player of the Year and won All-Ivy League first team honors in 1995-96 and 1996-97.