MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – DerMarr Johnson, who played 16 seasons of professional basketball, including seven seasons in the NBA, has been named assistant men’s basketball coach at West Virginia University, coach Bob Huggins announced today.
Johnson will begin his duties at WVU once all policies and procedures adopted by the University for new hires are complete.
“Obviously, DerMarr is a guy who I know very well,” Huggins said. “He has a great amount of experience from being the national player of the year in high school, to the Conference USA Freshman of the Year, to the NBA and to a 16-year professional basketball career.
“He’s extremely well-liked by former players, coaches and fans alike. He has a tremendous presence in the Washington, D.C. area, being one of the most-recognized athletes to come out of there in a long time. I’m thrilled that he’s joining our program and look forward to him getting on the court.”
Johnson, a native of Washington, D.C., comes to West Virginia from the University of Cincinnati, where he has served as director of player development for the men’s basketball program since May 2021. In that role, he oversaw individual development plans for the Bearcats and coordinated details related to connecting with former players.
“I’m excited for this opportunity to work with my coach, and I’m looking forward to getting to know and working with the players and staff,” Johnson said. “I can’t wait to get started to help this basketball program.”
A 6-foot-9 guard/forward, Johnson played one season (1999-2000) at Cincinnati for Huggins, averaging 13.0 points and 3.7 rebounds in being named Conference USA Freshman of the Year, while playing on a team that featured national player of the year Kenyon Martin, All-American Pete Mickeal, Steve Logan and Kenny Satterfield. Cincinnati was ranked No. 1 in the country for 12 weeks while posting a 29-4 record and claiming the Conference USA regular-season title.
In the 2000 NBA Draft, Johnson was selected as the sixth pick of the Atlanta Hawks. He played for the next seven seasons for four NBA teams, overcoming an automobile accident where he fractured four vertebrae in his neck following his second year in the league. Johnson played for the Hawks from 2000-03, New York Knicks from 2003-04, Denver Nuggets from 2004-07 and San Antonio Spurs from 2007-08. For his NBA career, he played in 344 games, starting 136 of them.
Following his NBA career, he continued to play professionally until 2016, competing in China, Italy, Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, Colombia, Lebanon, the Philippines, Argentina, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic.
Once his professional career ended, he joined the Cincinnati staff in 2017 as a student assistant coach, completing his undergraduate degree in 2019.
Johnson was a consensus McDonald’s, Parade Magazine and USA Today high school All-American as well as Parade’s National High School Player of the Year in 1999 at Maine Central Institute in Pittsfield, Maine.