Robert Johnson enters his first season as the Bruin men's and women's jumps coach. In addition to coaching the men's long, triple and high jumps, Johnson will also coach the women's long and triple jumps, as well as, the women's team strength and conditioning program. He also heads the men's jumpers' strength and conditioning program.
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 at the Outdoor Championships 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 U.S. Track and Field Coaches Association.
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, 7-1.75 (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 received his Associate of Fine Arts degree from Brevard College in 1993 and his Bachelor of Arts degree from Appalachian State in 1996.