With Tim Duncan stepping down from his spot as an assistant coach for the San Antonio Spurs, Mitch Johnson is being promoted internally to Popovich’s staff.
It was only a matter of time before the San Antonio Spurs officially promoted Mitch Johnson to an assistant role on a full-time basis. Fortunately for him, a vacancy appeared this offseason with franchise star Tim Duncan’s decision to step away from a full-time coaching position.
Formerly an assistant for the Austin Spurs, San Antonio’s G League affiliate, Johnson filed in for Duncan during the Orlando restart earlier this year. In doing so, he established himself as one of the brightest basketball minds in the organization whose knack for player development set him apart from the competition. Earlier today, the San Antonio Spurs officially announced that Johnson would be elevated into a full-time assistant role.
The Spurs say assistant coach Mitch Johnson has been promoted. Johnson fills the position vacated by Tim Duncan. Additionally, Darius Songaila has been elevated to assistant coach.
— Marc J. Spears (@MarcJSpears) November 12, 2020
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Johnson was influential in leading the Austin Spurs to a G League championship in 2018. He’s worked closely with one of the Spurs’ top assistants, Will Hardy, up to this point. A graduate of Stanford University, Johnson competed as a college athlete in the Pac-12 and earned a degree in sociology many years ago. He began his professional career as a basketball coaching intern at Seattle University in 2011.
By this point, Johnson is an established commodity in the Spurs organization. He’s put in the legwork to climb the ladder and clearly, it’s worked out decently for him to this point. Is Johnson going to be the next head coach of the San Antonio Spurs? It’s not likely right now, but he’s someone who could easily be poached after a few years of service as a legitimate assistant for the Spurs.
Time will tell what his role in the organization grows to, but now is the right time for Johnson to be elevated. For as influential as Coach Duncan was, players can gain the same insight from him when he hangs around the practice facility to stay fit and contribute to the team. Johnson is a strong player development coach who helps players unleash better versions of themselves on the court. Having that presence is huge for a team developing a ton of young talent.
Johnson is deserving of this promotion. It should also be noted that the team promoted Darius Songaila to an assistant coach as well.