Johnston named boys basketball coach
After 21 years, 478 wins and three state championships as head girls' basketball coach at Minneota, Chad Johnston is stepping into new territory.
Johnston, who also spent six years as an assistant girls basketball coach prior to becoming head coach, was recently hired to be the next boys basketball coach here, replacing Dave Busselman.
"After last season, my gut feeling was to coach the girls one more year," he said. "I was thinking about the challenge of piecing together the puzzle after six of the girls on the team graduated."
Johnston also thought about "just being a dad and sitting in the stands and watching them play."
His oldest son, Easton, will be a freshman next year and will be on the boys' basketball "C" team. Gage, his middle son, will be in seventh grade, while youngest son, Brooks, will be in fifth grade.
When the boys basketball position opened up, Johnston thought about applying for that coaching position.
"I talked to my boys about it because I knew it could put a strain on our relationship if I was coaching them some day," he said. "I'm not tough on my kids, but coaching them is a lot different than just being a dad to them. You expect more from them because you don't want to show favoritism. The two youngest boys just said, 'Yeah, sure'. Easton seemed okay with it, too."
Johnston's wife, Nicolle, has always been supportive of her husband during his many years as head football and girls' basketball coach. She attends most of his games and waits patiently as he is being interviewed by the media after the games.
"She told me she would support any decision I made in regards to coaching the boys," noted Johnston, who will remain the head football coach.
Johnston has been a head and assistant coach at Minneota in football, girls' basketball and baseball. He was also the head coach of softball for one month while Jim Rolbiecki recovered from a heart attack. So, this will be the fifth sport he has been a head coach in for the Vikings.
"My plan is to keep everything intact for the boys basketball program from top to bottom," said Johnston.
Mitchel VanWesten has indicated that he will remain the "B" team coach. Bryce Jepson was the volunteer "C" team coach and is also expected to return.
The girls' basketball position, and activities director positions are still open at the time of this printing. Interviews are currently underway for the AD job.