Cal Basketball: Berkeley Native Trent Johnson Comes Home

Trent Johnson's Stanford teams were 6-2 against Cal.Photo by Denny Medley, USA Today

Jeff Faraudo

Trent Johnson is coming full circle.

Born in Berkeley, the former head coach at Nevada, Stanford and LSU will join the staff of new Cal basketball coach Mark Fox, a source close to the program confirmed. Ben Parker of the Golden Bear Report was first to report the news.

Johnson, 62, was head coach at Nevada from 1999-2000 through 2003-04, where Fox was part of his staff before succeeding him.

He is best known to Bay Area college hoops fans as the man who replaced Mike Montgomery as coach at Stanford. Over four seasons, from 2004-05 through 2007-08, he led the Cardinal to a record of 80-48, including three trips to the NCAA tournament.

His teams were 6-2 against Cal, and he was an assistant for Montgomery on Stanford teams that were 5-1 vs. the Bears.

Johnson recruited and coached 7-foot twins brothers Brook and Robin Lopez, who may have landed at Stanford in any case because their mother was a former swimmer for the Cardinal.

As sophomores, the Lopez brothers were the anchor of Johnson’s 2007-08 team, with Brook averaging 19.3 points and 8.2 rebounds and Robin contributing 10.2 points and 5.7 rebounds.

That was Johnson’s best team at Stanford. He was Pac-10 Coach of the Year, compiling a 28-8 record, finishing second in the Pac-12 and winning twice in the NCAA tournament to reach the Sweet 16.

Brook Lopez made the game-winning shot with 1.3 seconds left in the second-round game against Marquette, but Johnson wasn’t around to see it, having been ejected from the game late in the first half for going onto the court to argue an official’s call.

Johnson used that season to land the head-coaching job at LSU, where he went 27-8 and reached the NCAAs his first season but never got back to the event. He was 67-64 in four seasons, then was 50-79 in four seasons as head coach at TCU before being fired after the 2015-16 campaign.

Johnson, who played at Boise State, had a five-year record of 79-74 at Nevada, with one NCAA tournament bid. His career ledger is 276-265 over 17 seasons.

He spent the 2017-18 season as an assistant at Louisville.

Early in his career, Johnson also was an assistant at Washington, Utah and Stanford.