July 29, 2003
Los Angeles, CA - Head Coaches Jeanette Bolden and Art Venegas have announced the hiring of Robert Johnson as the UCLA men's and women's jumps coach. Johnson, who comes to the Bruins from Appalachian State University, will coach the men's long, triple and high jumps, as well as the women's long and triple jumps.
As an athlete, Johnson was a three-time NJCAA All-American in the triple jump at Brevard College. While competing at Appalachian State (NCAA Div. I), he was a two-time All-American in the triple jump (1995, 1996) and a NCAA qualifier in the high jump (1996). The Appalachian State school record holder in the high jump, 7-1 3/4 (2.18m), Johnson received All-Southern Conference honors in the long jump, triple jump, high jump, 200m and 4x100m in 1996. He was the 1996 Southern Conference triple and high jumps champion, and was named the Southern Conference Outdoor Track and Field Athlete of the Year. Johnson competed professionally for five years, placing fifth in the triple jump at the 1998 USA Senior Nationals in New Orleans. In 1999, he was ranked sixth in the nation in the indoor triple jump with a season best mark of 54-00 (16.46m). Johnson qualified for the 2000 Olympic Trials, where he placed 10th in the triple jump with a jump of 53-3.50 (16.24m).
Johnson began his coaching career in 1997 as a volunteer assistant at Appalachian State. In 1999, he became the Mountaineers' men's and women's jumps coach. He has coached 28 individual Southern Conference champions. Seven of those champions have gone on to gain 14 NCAA Championship qualifying marks in the long jump, triple jump, 100m and 55m. He coached Appalachian State's first jumps All-American, Ronda White, who earned All-America honors in the triple jump in the Outdoor Championship in 2003. Johnson has also coached two Southern Conference Freshman of the Year and two Southern Conference Athletes of the Year.
During his tenure at Appalachian State, Johnson also served as recruiting coordinator. The Mountaineers' recruiting class of 2000 is considered to be the best recruiting class in Appalachian State school history. He is a member of the US Track and Field Coaches Association.
Johnson received his Associate of Fine Arts degree from Brevard College in 1993 and his bachelor of art degree from Appalachian State in 1996.
"I am very excited for the opportunity to coach in the Pac-10 and work with some of the most talented athletes in the nation," said Johnson. "I thank Coach Bolden and Coach Venegas for their confidence in hiring me as the Bruins' jumps coach. It's going to be great working with such an outstanding staff with the joint goal of winning a National Championship."
"Coach Johnson will add depth to our staff," said Bolden. "He has a tremendous amount of experience as both an athlete and coach. The passion, knowledge and experience he brings to recruiting will be valuable to us."
"We are very excited to have a quality, well-balanced coach like Robert Johnson," said Venegas. "We are excited to see the progress of our jumpers under his tutelage."