Saint Louis University women’s basketball has finalized its coaching staff with the addition of Kelsey Johnson, head coach Rebecca Tillett announced.
Johnson joins the Billikens as a recruiting coordinator and assistant coach after spending the 2022-23 season at Southeast Missouri State University following stops at the University of Mississippi (2021-22) and UT Martin (2019-21).
“A leader once shared with me that he believed in the law of magnetism. Good people attract good people,” said Tillett. “Two years ago, a trusted advisor recommended that Kelsey and I connect because we share so many of the same values. From there, she kept the conversation going, and I became increasingly more curious about working with her. We share the core belief that our role is to help develop empowered women who thrive in a culture of joy, love, and excellence.”
“I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity that Chris May, Dr. Janet Oberle and Coach Tillett have given me and it gives me great joy to call SLU my new home. Coach Tillett and her staff have already laid the foundation for greatness so I can’t wait to see what this season will bring,” said Johnson.
In her most recent role as an assistant coach at SEMO, Johnson helped the team to a fourth-place finish in the Ohio Valley Conference with 10 more wins than the previous season, capping the 2022-23 campaign with an appearance in the semifinals of the Ohio Valley Conference tournament. She also took on recruiting, practice planning and film-related duties throughout her stint with the Redhawks.
Prior to her time in Cape Girardeau, Johnson served as a graduate assistant at the University of Mississippi. There, she helped the Rebels to their first top-25 ranking and 20-win season since the 2006-07 season. She also aided in developing first round WNBA draft pick Shakira Austin and the SEC Sixth Woman of the Year award recipient, Angel Baker.
Johnson’s first graduate assistant role was with UT Martin, where she helped the Skyhawks to back-to-back conference championships in 2020-21. She also was instrumental in developing more professional talent with 2021 WNBA Draft Pick Chelsey Perry.
“She has won championships and coached at a high level. She has experience building strong relationships with future professional players at multiple stops. She will immediately impact our recruiting and help elevate our defense,” finished Tillett.
An East Freetown, Mass., native, Johnson also had coaching stints at the University of Northwestern Ohio (2017-19) and Dean College (2016-17).
Johnson graduated Magna Cum Laude with a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Bridgewater State University in 2016. She also received an Associate’s degree from Dean College in 2013.
Johnson is the final addition to Tillett’s staff after her inaugural season with SLU which saw her lead the Billikens to a program-first A-10 Championship title and an NCAA Tournament berth.
“I met Coach Tillett about two years ago and I knew instantly I had to work with her at some point in my career,” said Johnson. “Being a part of an elite program that empowers young women to become the best version of themselves on and off the court is something I’ve been working towards my whole career, and I’m excited to be joining a staff that values culture and excellence every day.”A10