Johnson brings nine years of coaching experience, including four years at the Division I level that includes stops at Marshall and Texas-San Antonio. Most recently, she spent two years at Blinn College in Texas where she helped the Buccaneers reach the quarterfinals of the NJCAA National Tournament during the 2013-14 season.
“I have followed Deidra throughout her career even as far back as her high school playing days here in Arkansas,” Boyer said. “She loves the state of Arkansas and has been wanting to get back for quite some time. Deidra has accomplished a lot both as a player and during her coaching career. I’m very impressed with her work ethic and also her ability to relate to the players.”
During her tenure at Blinn, the Buccaneers compiled a 48-18 overall record and she helped coach two student-athletes to NJCAA All-America status. In 2013-14, the Buccaneers went a school-record 28-7 and made their second straight trip to the NJCAA Tournament. During the 2014-15 season, Blinn had an overall record of 20-11 and reached the Region XIV Tournament.
Prior to Blinn, Johnson spent two seasons at UTSA, where she helped the Roadrunners lead the Western Athletic Conference in scoring defense (57.7 ppg) and field goal percentage defense (.379), while UTSA ranked fourth in blocks (3.4) and steals (9.7) per game. Under Johnson’s tutelage, Whitney Wright led the team with 39 blocks to set the school’s all-time record (105), while Kamra King earned third-team all-conference honors after leading the team in scoring (9.3 ppg) for the second consecutive season.
Johnson spent two years as an assistant coach at Marshall, where she also served as the recruiting coordinator during the 2011-12 campaign. In addition to her duties as recruiting coordinator, Johnson coached the guards and the group accounted for the top six scorers on the team. The unit also hit 32 percent of its 3-point attempts, which led Conference USA, and the group helped the Thundering Herd hold their opponents to just 56.1 points per game by averaging 10.5 steals per contest.
She also mentored the team’s post players in her first season, including Tynikki Crook, who was named second-team all-conference after leading the circuit in scoring at 16.2 points per contest.
“I’m excited to be back in Arkansas and thrilled about the opportunity to work at Arkansas State with Coach Boyer,” Johnson said. “A-State is a place that I am very familiar with and I am looking forward to hit the ground running and working toward an outstanding 2015-16 season. Coach Boyer recruited me as a player and the opportunity to work with him is one that I have been looking forward to for sometime. I am very thankful to be part of the A-State women’s program and I look forward meeting everyone at Arkansas State and all Red Wolves’ fans.”
Johnson began her coaching career at Coffeyville Community College in Kansas as an assistant coach before moving on to Chipola College in Mariana, Fla., where she was the team’s recruiting coordinator. While at Chipola she helped the team to a third-place finish in the 2009 NJCAA National Basketball Championship and called the Florida NJCAA Regional Tournament championship.
Before departing after a pair of seasons at Chipola (Fla.) College, Johnson signed the No. 3 recruiting class in the country and coached 10 players that earned Division I scholarships and three that went on to play professionally, including Latoya Williams, recently of the WNBA’s San Antonio Silver Stars. She also coached guards and helped coordinate recruiting during the 2007-08 season at Coffeyville (Kan.) Community College.
From 2005-07, Johnson worked for the Boy’s and Girls Club of El Dorado (Ark.). She served as the Teen-Center Director for two years while also working as the SMART Girls Program Director in her final year with the organization.
Johnson began her collegiate playing career at the University of Arkansas at Fort Smith. In two seasons with the Lady Lions, she was named to the All-NJCAA BI State East First Team and the All-NJCAA Region VI First Team.
Following her time there, she finished her college career at Oklahoma State, playing for the Cowgirls from 2003-04. Johnson was named to the Big XII Commissioner’s Honor Roll and the National Deans List in her time at OSU and was also a member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.Assistant Coach DI Johnson