The Thundering Herd track and field team defeated Ohio University in a border battle at the Ohio Women's Team Challenge in Athens.
This season marks Coach Johnson's 3rd season overseeing sprints, jumps, and multi's for the Thundering Herd track and field program.
2011-2012 was a successful year for Coach Johnson and the members of the "She Herd" sprint crew as 10 school records were broken, 3 athletes were named to the All-Conference USA Team, 16 athletes scored at the conference meet, 75 personal bests were achieved, and 2 young ladies qualified for nationals.
The 2012 outdoor season saw a new C-USA She Herd scoring record with an impressive tally of 28 points.
Under Johnson's instruction, Vanessa Jules led the charge for the She Herd by setting or being a part of 7 school records including the indoor and outdoor high jump, 60H, 100H, Pentathlon, Heptathlon, and the 4x4 outdoor relay. During the indoor campaign she bested teammate Elaine Derricott's Pentathlon Record with a score of 3791, good enough for a 3rd place finish at the C-USA Championship meet. She followed that with a score of 5216 in Heptathlon outdoors to finish 3rdwhile settinga new Marshall record in the process.
Jasia Richardson was another consistent contributor for the Herd all season. She finished as an All-C-USA performer after finishing 3rd at the indoor conference meet with a triple jump of 12.52m. During the outdoor season she had an eye-popping day at the Hilltopper Relays, leaping out to a school record 12.87m distance that could not count officially because it was wind aided. Richardson then went on to finish 6th at the C-USA Outdoor Championships.
Elaine Derricott returned after redshirting for the indoor season to help the team by scoring over 5000 points to finish 5th in the heptathlon.
Meanwhile, the 4x4 relay team of Amber Pierson, Vanessa Jules, Loren Dyer, and Hadassah Lynch dropped the school record time to 3:45.21 and went on to finish 7that the C-USA outdoor meet.
The 4x1 Relay team of Kearra Haynes, Vanessa Jules, Brittany Carey, and Hadassah Lynch also found success, running the 2nd fastest time in school history (46.62) at the Hilltopper Relays before finishing in 8th at the C-USA Outdoor Championships.
Johnson officially joined the Thundering Herd track and field team in 2010 as an assistant coach with oversight of the sprinters, hurdlers, jumpers, and multi-event athletes. Success was found immediately as 7 school records were broken, 4 athletes were named All-C-USA, 19 athletes contributed to the team score, 77 personal bests were achieved, and 1 athlete qualified for nationals.
The 2011 indoor season then saw a new scoring record for the She Herd in C-USA action with a total of 26.50 points.
Elaine Derricott had an outstanding season after transferring to Marshall that year, becoming the first outdoor C-USA Champion in Marshall history. During the successful season she set school records in the Pentathlon (3710) and the Heptathlon (5139).
The 4x1 Relay Team of Brittany Carey, Vanessa Jules, Delkira Maybin, and Moriah Njoku executed a great race en route to setting a new school record of 46.60 that was good enough for a 7th place finish at the 2011 conference meet. That placement ended a three year drought of scoring in the event.
The 4x4 Relay team of Brittany Carey, Vanessa Jules, Amber Pierson, and Hadassah Lynch also stepped up big time at the outdoor conference meet that year, running 3:45.50 to break the school record by 3 seconds. It was good enough for an 8th place finish and marked the first time that a 4x4 Relay team scored for Marshall at the C-USA Outdoor Championships.
2011 was also the first time since joining C-USA that both relay teams scored at the conference meet.
"Willie did a fantastic job while he was here as a graduate assistant," said head coach Jeff Small in 2011. "He is one of the best recruiters I have ever been around and I was excited to get him back on staff as a full time member."
Prior to returning to Marshall, Johnson spent two years as the assistant coach at Radford University, where he directed five conference champions in the triple jump, long jump, and multi-events. He also coached three of his athletes to school records in the high jump, triple jump, and multi-events, and guided a further two of them to Big South Conference Athlete of the Year awards.
Johnson is no stranger to the Huntington area, as he was a three-year graduate assistant for the Marshall track & field team from August of 2005 to June 2008.
While a member of the Herd staff as a graduate assistant, Johnson oversaw two Conference USA runner-ups, five school record holders, and three NCAA Regional Qualifiers. In the process he also earned his Masters in Sports Administration.
A native of Orlando, Fla., Johnson completed his undergraduate degree at Florida State University, where he was a four-time All-ACC triple jumper and a two-time All-American.
Johnson earned his USA Track & Field Level One Coaching Certificate in 2006.
Marshall University (2011-12)
75 - Personal Bests 16 - C-USA Scorers 10 - School Records 3 - All Conference Accolades 2 - National Qualifiers
Marshall University (2009-10)
77 - Personal Bests 19 - C-USA Scorers 7 - School Records 4 - All Conference Accolades 1 - Conference USA Champion 1 - National Qualifier
Radford University (2008-09)
5 - Big South Conference Champions 4 - Big South Conference Runner Ups 2 - Big South Third Place Finishers 4 - Big South Fourth Place Finishers 3 - School Record Holders 2 - Big South Conference Field Athletes of the Year 1 - Big South Conference Freshmen of the Year 1 - NCAA Regional Qualifiers 1 - USA Junior National Qualifier 29 - Big South Conference Scorers 49 - Personal Best Achieved
Marshall University (2005-08) 2 - Conference USA Runner Ups 5 - School Record Holders 3 - NCAA Regional Qualifiers 4 - Conference USA scorers 30 - Personal Bests Achieved