Former Western Kentucky men’s basketball assistant coach Nikita Johnson has been hired as an assistant coach on the Austin Peay staff, the school announced Wednesday.

Johnson spent the past two seasons on WKU coach Rick Stansbury’s staff, helping the Hilltoppers to a combined 47-25 overall mark with appearances in the NIT semifinals during the 2017-18 season and a spot in the Conference USA Tournament championship game this past season.

Johnson is a 30-year veteran of the collegiate coaching ranks, with Austin Peay representing his third stop in the Ohio Valley Conference. His first Division I coaching job came at Murray State, where was an assistant from 1993-95; he also served at Tennessee State in 1998. Other Division I stops on Johnson’s coaching journey have included Duquesne (1995-98), New Orleans (1998-2004), LSU (2004-07), Louisiana Tech (2007-10), Louisiana Lafayette (2010-12), Stetson (2013-17) and Western Kentucky.

He began his career at Chipola College in 1981, where he was part of six conference titles, before serving two seasons at West Georgia and two more at Odessa College before breaking into the Division I ranks.

“I’ve got a 26-year relationship with Nikita,” Austin Peay head coach Matt Figger said in a news release. “He’s someone who has helped me throughout my career to get where I am today. He helped me get one of my first jobs. He has coached at the highest level, he’s coached in a Final Four, and he’s coached all over the country. He’s got ties all over the United States and internationally, which helps in recruiting.

“He’s coached and won championships in the OVC. He brings a wealth of experience that will be very valuable to our staff and going forward to help our kids compete for an OVC championship.”


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