Johnson returns to coach Alma mater

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Kris Johnson goes from a highly successful high school program to a team that was 0-25 this past season and hasn't had a winning record since 2005-06.

Kris Johnson has been named the new head women's basketball coach at Alma. A former head coach at Nouvel Catholic Central High School in Saginaw, Mich., Johnson joins the Scots from the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, where she was the director of internal operations.

She replaces Keisha Brown, who was 23-102 (.184) in five seasons. She passed away April 10 after a lengthy battle with breast cancer.

Prior to the position at the GLIAC, Johnson coached at Nouvel Catholic Central from 1992-2013, the final 12 years as head coach.

"We are very happy to announce that Kris Johnson will be the next women's basketball coach at Alma College," says athletic director John Leister. "She is a former Scots athlete who is coming back to the program. She had a very successful tenure at Nouvel Catholic, and she certainly knows what types of players fit the character of our institution. Throughout the interview process, it became clear that Kris was the right choice to take our women's basketball program back to the level it deserves."

While head coach at Nouvel Catholic, she led the team to an overall record of 253-55 and directed the school to two state championships and two state runner-up finishes.

"I am very excited to be coming home as the new head coach of the Alma College women's basketball program," says Johnson. "Historically we have had competitive and successful women's teams, and I believe there is a very good foundation in place to return us to the level we are accustomed. Alma is a beautiful campus offering an excellent education and college experience, and I can honestly tell incoming recruits first-hand what wonderful opportunities this school has to offer.

"In my discussions, it is obvious there is the commitment from the administration to its athletic department and facilities. I believe we can get Alma women's basketball back to the top of the conference and also back on the map regionally and nationally. I look forward to the challenge."

While at Nouvel, her teams won Class C State Championships in 2006 and 2008, and the 2013 team was runner-up. In addition, Nouvel finished second in Class B in 2003. After the 2006 season, Johnson was named Detroit Free Press Coach of the Year, and she coached two Miss Basketball winners – in 2002 and 2009. In addition to coaching, her other duties at the school included mentoring, fundraising and scheduling.

Johnson is a 1987 graduate of Alma College, and she received a BA in Exercise and Health Science. She earned eight varsity letters in three sports with the Scots – basketball, softball and volleyball. She was a two-time MIAA Women's Basketball MVP in 1986 and 1987 and is a member of the Alma College Hall of Fame. After graduation, Johnson served as a freshman and junior varsity coach at Heritage High School and then Nouvel Central Catholic High School from 1988-1991.

Off the court with the GLIAC, she handled the daily financial transactions of the league and oversaw the annual budget and assisted in the long-term budget development. She also was the liaison for five specific sports and represented women's lacrosse on the NCAA D-II Regional Advisory Committee.