Davis & Elkins College named Dean Johnson as its next men’s soccer coach, officially announcing the hire on January 28,2020. The 2020 soccer season was his first at the helm for D&E.
Johnson arrived in Elkins following a stint as the head men’s and women’s soccer coach at Northeast Texas Community College, where he guided the squad to a combined 46-16-3 (.717) mark in three seasons. He handled all aspects of both programs, where he orchestrated nearly a 10-win turnaround on the men’s side from 2017 to 2018, which included the program’s second National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Tournament appearance in school history.
“Firstly, I want to share my appreciation to the department of athletics at Davis & Elkins College for showing their faith in me and selecting me as the next head men’s soccer coach,” Johnson said. “It’s an honor to lead a program with such a storied tradition and building a culture that can compete with any in the country!”
Johnson overhauled the Northeast Texas program upon his arrival, bringing in 68 new players in three classes from across the world, 21 of which went on to become All-Region and All-American selections. He aided the women’s team to just its second 10-win season in school history, while pushing the men’s squad to 19 shutout victories in 2018-19.
“Dean is a candidate who has rebuilt a couple of under-resourced programs into academic and athletic success, through his tenacious international recruiting efforts and establishing strong US youth relationships,” Davis & Elkins College director of athletics Jamie Joss said. “Coupling our program resources, outstanding soccer facility and alumni support along with his energy, confidence, enthusiasm and tireless effort to make our program better in every aspect sets him up for a quick pathway to success at D&E. Dean holds his teams to the highest standards in the classroom, on the pitch and in student life, which are cornerstones of our athletic mission statement. We expect to see a huge progression in our program’s success in the MEC next year and you could sense how magnetic his personality was in his interaction with the team during his campus interview and we are seeing swells of positive enthusiasm from the team in sharing Coach Johnson’s appointment.”
Johnson spent two seasons as an assistant men’s soccer coach at Wayland Baptist (Texas) from 2016-18, where he coached the program to the 2017 NAIA National Championship, the first for the school in any sport. The staff earned the United Soccer Coaches National and Regional Staff of the Year in 2017, part of an impressive two-year run which saw a pair of regular season and conference tournament championships in 2016-17.
“We are confident that the men’s soccer program will be in good hands under Coach Dean Johnson’s leadership,” Davis & Elkins College president Chris Wood said. “His experience in both England and the United States as a player and coach has prepared him well to lead the Senators. While focused on winning on the field, Coach Johnson also has a passion for his players exhibiting excellence in the classroom and demonstrating outstanding character, which fits perfectly with the central components of D&E’s athletic philosophy.”
He coached at Northwest College in Wyoming from 2014-15, working primarily with the goalkeepers after transitioning as a player at the institution. Johnson boasts an impressive resume of international recruiting success, brining players from 13 different states and 24 different countries to his programs.
Beginning his soccer career at a young age, Johnson played on the youth team of the prestigious Tottenham Hotspur Football Club from 2001-06, before continuing his youth career with Dagenham & Redbridge Football Club, where he was mentored by Jimmy Gilligan, the head scout for the English national team.
“On behalf of the men’s soccer team, we are really excited to have Dean Johnson as our new head coach at Davis & Elkins College,” junior defender and Student-Athlete Committee Chair Patrick Holley said. “We are looking forward to working with a young, motivated coach who brings fresh ideas and experience from his time spent overseas. His hard-working mentality and desire to improve things daily should help push us as players and provide us a mentor off the field. I’m certain he can help propel a strong tradition of D&E soccer into the future.”
Additionally, he has coaching experience with Southern West Virginia King’s Warriors (2014-15), Soccer Diamond USA in London (2014-15) and the West Virginia Chaos (2017-18).
Johnson transitioned to the college game in 2010, playing two years at Northwest College. As a team captain, Johsnon fired home 19 goals and added 30 career assists, helping to lead the team to its only national tournament appearance in 2013.
Johnson spent one year as a team captain at the University of Pikeville in 2013, notching team-highs in assists (15) and points (33), while finishing second on the squad with nine goals. He set the NAIA record for points in a game (18) following a six goal and six assist effort against Johnson University in August 2013.
He graduated with an associates degree from Northwest in 2012 before earning a bachelor’s in sport management from Bluefield College in 2015. Johnson recently completed his masters of education from Wayland Baptist in 2018.