Former Stars Player And Assistant Coach Becomes Ninth Head Coach In Franchise History
SAN ANTONIO (Dec. 22, 2016) – The San Antonio Stars today announced that the team has hired former Stars player and assistant coach Vickie Johnson as the ninth head coach in franchise history. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.
“Having spent 10 years in San Antonio, first as a player, then as an assistant coach, this city feels like home,” said Johnson. “Our Stars players are young, talented and hardworking. We also have a dedicated fan base in a great basketball town, and I’m looking forward to getting to work this spring when we tip off our 15th season in San Antonio.”
“Coach Johnson’s experience, passion for teaching, fierce competitive spirit and commitment to our organization made her the perfect candidate to lead our team moving forward,” said Stars General Manager Ruth Riley. “We have been very fortunate to have Coach Johnson as a part of our Stars family for the past decade. She has a strong understanding of our culture and goals, and we are thrilled that she will be our next head coach.”
A two-time WNBA All-Star (1999, 2001), Johnson has served as an assistant coach for the Stars since 2011. Johnson was the first player in WNBA history to record 4,000 points, 1,000 rebounds and 1,000 assists in a career, and retired with 4,243 points, 1,641 rebounds and 1,205 career assists. She played 13 WNBA seasons, nine with the New York Liberty and four with the San Antonio Stars, retiring as the league’s all-time leader in games (410) and minutes played (12,435). Johnson was one of 10 players voted to the Stars All-Decade Team in 2012, as part of the team’s 10th season in San Antonio.
Johnson posted career averages of 10.3 points, 4.0 rebounds and 2.9 assists per game in 13 seasons in the WNBA, averaging double-digit points in seven seasons. She started all but two of her 410 career games, and amassed a 159 games-started streak which currently ranks eighth in WNBA history.
A native of Coushatta, La., Johnson was originally selected 12th overall by the New York Liberty in the WNBA Elite Draft on February 27, 1997 and became the first player in league history to play 300 games on July 7, 2006. She signed with San Antonio as a free agent on February 9, 2006, becoming the first building block of the Stars’ 2008 Western Conference Champion squad. Johnson helped lead the Stars to their first WNBA Finals appearance and earned the Kim Perrot Sportsmanship Award following the 2008 season. Johnson, who also played professionally in Israel, France, Hungary and Turkey, retired from the WNBA following the 2009 season.
Johnson was a two-time All-American and Sun Belt Conference MVP at Louisiana Tech University. She led Louisiana Tech to the 1994 Final Four, was named Sun Belt Conference Player of the Year in 1995 and earned Louisiana Player of the Year honors in 1996. She finished her collegiate career with 1,891 career points and 831 rebounds and was inducted into the Louisiana Tech Hall of Fame in 2007.
The Stars’ 2017 season home opener is scheduled for Friday, May 19 against the Phoenix Mercury. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. (CST) at the AT&T Center. Season tickets are now available by calling (210) 225-TEAM. Single-game tickets will be available at a later date. For more information about the Stars, visit SAStars.com.