Six-time ACC coach of the year Lawrence Johnson resigns as Director of Track & Field

Clemson news release: 'The parties have mutually agreed to terminate their contract effective today'

Director of track and field Lawrence Johnson makes a point with All-American Liane Weber.

Photo by Kerry Capps

Director of track and field Lawrence Johnson makes a point with All-American Liane Weber.

Clemson is looking for a new men's and women's track coach after six-time ACC and Southeast Region coach of the year Lawrence Johnson resigned his post on Tuesday.

Clemson released a terse, three sentence statement announcing Johnson's departure:

"Director of Athletics Dan Radakovich announced today that the Clemson University Athletics Department has accepted the resignation of Lawrence Johnson as its Director of Men’s and Women’s Track and Field. The parties have mutually agreed to terminate their contract effective today. Shawn Cobey has been appointed interim director of the program while a search for Johnson’s replacement is conducted."

No additional information about Johnson's resignation was released. Cobey, who is in his fourth season at Clemson has been serving as the program operations manager since last summer. He previously coached the Tigers' throwers.

Johnson was in his fifth season as Clemson's Director of Track & Field - a position created when the Clemson men's and women's programs were combined. He has overseen one of Clemson's most successful runs in any sport, as he coached the Tiger women's track team to six straight ACC titles, indoors and outdoors.

He was named ACC women's coach of the year and Southeast Region women's coach of the year in 2010, 2011 and 2012, both indoors and outdoors.

At Clemson, Johnson coached 48 ACC individual champions and relay teams, as well as three Olympians.

In his four seasons at Clemson, Johnson coached 82 All-Americans and 48 ACC event champions. His athletes have been named the ACC meet most valuable performers on the track or in the field 11 times, while four have been named Athlete of the Year by the conference.

Thirty-four of the current school indoor or outdoor men’s and women’s records have been set during Johnson's time as coach.

The Clemson women’s program earned top-five team finishes at the NCAA Championships in 2012. The indoor team tied for fifth place, while the outdoor team produced a program-best fourth-place tie. His program produced 25 All-Americans in 2012, as well as 17 ACC event champions.

Individually, Brianna Rollins was NCAA runner-up in the high hurdles both seasons. She was the ACC Indoor Track Athlete of the Year, while Marlena Wesh won the honor outdoors. Dezerea Bryant swept ACC Freshman of the Year honors, while April Sinkler was named ACC Outdoor Field Athlete of the Year.

Three athletes he coached at Clemson, including two currently on the 2012-13 roster, competed in the London Olympics in August. Warren Fraser represented the Bahamas in the 100 dash, while Wesh competed in the 400 for Haiti. Patricia Mamona, who won a pair of NCAA Championships under Johnson in the triple jump, competed for Portugal.

Johnson, 37, was considered one of the top assistant coaches in collegiate track & field when approached by Clemson’s administration about the possibility of becoming the school’s next head coach. He coached the sprints, hurdles, jumps, and multi-events for the men and women at Virginia Tech. When he arrived at Clemson, he was coming off a 2008 season in which he was named Southeast Region Assistant Coach-of-the-Year by the USTFCCCA.

Johnson received his undergraduate degree in kinesiology from Arkansas in 2000. He earned one varsity letter with the Razorbacks’ nationally-ranked program. As a sprinter, he helped Arkansas to four SEC indoor and outdoor championships and the 1998 NCAA Outdoor national championship.

In 1995, Johnson was a member of the “triple crown” national championship track & field team at Blinn College in Texas. He also was a 1996 South Coast Conference champion in the 400 at Long Beach City College before moving on to Arkansas.

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