Joey Johnson recently completed his third season at the helm of the Reinhardt University men’s soccer program.
Under the direction of Coach Johnson, the men’s soccer program have developed into a nationally respected program. His emphasis on cultivating a team-driven culture combined with high professional standards and an intentional focus on the holistic development of the athlete has created a unique environment where student-athletes have the opportunity to thrive on the field, in the classroom, and in the community.
In his first season with the Eagles in 2014, Reinhardt finished with a 15-3 record and earned a regular season AAC Championship for the first time in the program’s history. The Eagles shattered program records as they rose in the NAIA national polls to as high as #14 and advanced to the AAC Championship tournament final. This inaugural season served to build a foundation for future success as the Eagles have accumulated 36 wins in the past 3 seasons under Coach Johnson while maintaining a consistent presence in the NAIA national rankings. Most recently, during the 2016 campaign, the Eagles soared as high as #18 in the national polls. The combination of a creative attacking mentality with a disciplined approach to the game defensively has led to the Eagles outscoring their opponents by a 131 to 54 margin during this span.
The continued success of the team has led to recognition for the players at the conference, regional, and national level. While at Reinhardt, Johnson has coached 17 AAC All-Conference selections, 7 NSCAA All-Region East selections, 1 NAIA All-American and a Reinhardt University Silver Eagle award winner. From 2014-2015, midfielder Jordan Williams earned AAC Freshman of the Year, AAC Player of the Year and NAIA All-American honors which were all program firsts.
During Johnson’s tenure, the men’s soccer program has also earned national recognition for their academic success. In 2016, the Eagles were ranked #1 in the nation among all NAIA programs as they maintained a combined team GPA of 3.6. Reinhardt men’s soccer earned a national ranking of #2 in 2015. Johnson has seen his student-athletes selected 32 times to the AAC All-Academic team and 11 times as Daktronics NAIA Scholar-Athlete honorees.
Prior to Reinhardt, Johnson served for two seasons as the head coach at Bryan College where he saw his team rise as high as #15 in the NAIA national rankings while winning an AAC Championship in 2013 en route to the NAIA national tournament. Johnson was named AAC Coach of the Year, NSCAA East-Region Coach of the Year, and finalist for NAIA National Coach of the Year for both the 2012 and 2013 campaigns.
Coach Johnson brings a wealth of experience to the RU program as a veteran coach and a former professional player. Prior to Bryan, Johnson served on both the coaching staff at UNC Wilmington (NCAA D1) and as an assistant coach under USL Hall of Fame coach, David Irving, with the Wilmington Hammerheads (USL Pro) for the 2011 campaign. In 2010, Johnson spent 6 months with Club Alianza Lima, the most historic professional club in the Peruvian 1st Division while living in Peru developing a vision for an indigenous coaching network among Amazonian tribal people.
From 2006 to 2009, Coach Johnson served as an Associate Head Coach with the men’s program at Bryan College. In that span of four seasons, the Lions compiled 47 wins, captured two AAC championships, and qualified for the NAIA national tournament for the first time in history. Twice the Lions finished ranked in the Top 10 NSCAA NCCAA D1 final national poll.
Coach Johnson served as an assistant with professional club, London City FC in 2006. In addition, he was an assistant coach at Southern Wesleyan University (2001-2004), Milligan College (1997-2000), and Bryan College (1996) for both the men’s and women’s programs, capturing six conference championships and advancing to one national championship final in 2003 with SWU.
Coach Johnson has earned an A license from the United States Soccer Federation and a Premier diploma from the NSCAA.
As a collegiate player, Johnson had a successful playing career for Bryan College (NAIA) and Liberty University (NCAA D1). After graduation from Liberty, Johnson was signed to a professional contract in South America with Aurora FC and began a pro career that would span a decade in the USA, Canada, and South America. Johnson won national championships as a professional in the USA with both the highly respected Charlotte Eagles in 2000 and Wilmington Hammerheads in 2003. While playing as a professional, Johnson represented his clubs on five continents while experiencing the world’s beautiful cultures through the gift of friendship that the game of soccer so quickly provides.
Coach Johnson earned his B.S. in History from Liberty University in 1996. He and his wife, Suzanne, live in the area with their three sons.