Noel Johnson (basketball)

Last updated
Noel Johnson
Biographical details
Born(1971-12-01)December 1, 1971
Shamrock, Texas
DiedJune 9, 2020(2020-06-09) (aged 47)
Playing career
1991–1995 Texas Tech
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1998–2007 Texas State (assistant)
2007–2008 North Texas (assistant)
2009–2020 Midwestern State
Head coaching record
Overall158–164 (.491)
Accomplishments and honors
As player:
NCAA champion (1993)

Noel Dawn Johnson (December 1, 1972 – June 9, 2020) was an American basketball player and the head coach of the Midwestern State Mustangs women's basketball team. She played for the national championship Texas Tech Lady Raiders in 1993.


Early years

Johnson was a West Texas native, born in Shamrock, Texas to Dean and Agatha Johnson, [1] and then growing up in Kelton, Texas. During her junior year in high school, her family moved to Nazareth, Texas where she played basketball for Nazareth High. She helped her team win two class 1-A state titles in basketball. [1]


Johnson attended Texas Tech University and played for four years on the women's basketball team. The Lady Raiders won the Southwest Conference all four years, were invited to the NCAA postseason tournament all four years, making it at least as far as the Sweet Sixteen each year, and won the national championship in 1993. [2] The team was coached by Marsha Sharp who would go on to be inducted into the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame. [3]

Johnson played point guard during her four years at Texas Tech. In the first nine years that Texas Tech played in the Southwest conference, they finished second or third each year. In Johnson's freshman year, the team recorded a record of 27–5 and won the first of five consecutive conference championships. Sheryl Swoopes had transferred to Texas Tech from South Plains College, and the team went on to earn a first round bye in the NCAA Tournament in 1992, then beating Santa Clara in the second round to reach the Sweet 16. They lost the next game to Stanford who went on to win the national championship that year. They ended the season ranked number 12 in the AP rankings, their highest ever ranking. [4] In her freshman year Johnson hit 23 of her 53 point field-goal attempts resulting in a percentage of 46.0%, the highest on the team. [5]

In her sophomore year, the team again won the Southwest conference regular-season tournament and the postseason tournament. The team earned the second seed in the West regional of the 1993 NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Tournament behind the previous year's national champion Stanford. However, Colorado upset Stanford in the regional semi finals. Texas Tech earned a first-round bye then beat Washington by six points in the second round, and went on to beat Southern California by 20 points in the regional semi-finals. they faced Colorado in the regional finals but won easily by 25 points sending Texas Tech to the first-ever Final Four. In the national semi finals, Texas Tech faced Vanderbilt, also appearing in the first Final Four but won easily 60–46. The championship game was against Ohio State who had won their national semi final in overtime. While the star of the championship game was clearly Swoopes, who scored an NCAA record 47 points in the game, Johnson hit four free throws to give Texas Tech an eight-point lead with only 20 seconds left to play. Those free throws were key, as Ohio State hit two three pointers in the final 10 seconds. Texas Tech ended up with the 84–82 victory when in their first ever national championship. [6]

In her junior year, Johnson helped lead her team to another NCAA tournament. They reached the Sweet 16 but were upset by Alabama in the regional semi finals. As a senior, Johnson helped her team to a 33–4 record. The team again made the NCAA tournament and reached the regional semi finals where they lost to Tennessee.[ citation needed ]


Johnson earned a master's degree in education at Texas State in 2002. [1]

Texas Tech Stats

Sources: [5] [7] [8] [9]

  GPGames played  GS Games started MPG Minutes per game
 FG%  Field goal percentage 3P%  3-point field goal percentage FT%  Free throw percentage
 RPG  Rebounds per game APG  Assists per game SPG  Steals per game
 BPG  Blocks per game PPG Points per game Bold Career high
1992Texas Tech3117548.3%46.0%70.8%
1993Texas Tech3430046.1%40.7%76.4%
1994Texas Tech3339542.9%43.8%67.3%4.63.320.212
1995Texas Tech3737444.6%41.2%58.3%

Awards and honors

Coaching career

Johnson served as an administrative intern at Texas Tech, and served as a coach and counselor at the basketball camps run by Texas Tech head coach Marsha Sharp between 1992 and 1997, but her first formal coaching position was at Texas State. She was named as an assistant coach for the women's basketball team in 1998. she continued at this school, becoming the associate head coach, and remained until 2007. while she was at Texas State, she helped the team when the Southland Conference Championship in 2003. In 2007, she took a position as an assistant coach at North Texas. [12]

In 2009, Johnson was named as the head coach at Midwestern State. She served as the head coach for 12 seasons. although she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2019 she continued to coach until January 30, 2020, and returned to the school to participate in senior day activities. Her teams won 159 games while she was head coach, making her the winningest coach in school history. During her tenure as head coach, every one of the 37 athletes who completed their eligibility earned a degree. She was named the Lone Star Conference Coach of the year in 2012. [13]

Coaching statistics

Source [14]

Statistics overview
Midwestern State University (Lone Star Conference)(2008–2020)
2008–09Midwestern 8–183–96th
2009–10Midwestern 9–172–107th
2010–11Midwestern 10–166–85th
2011–12Midwestern 19–815–53rd
2012–13Midwestern 26–616–41stNCAA II South Central Finals
2013–14Midwestern 18–129–74thNCAA II South Central Quarterfinals
2014–15Midwestern 23–78–182ndNCAA II South Central Quarterfinals
2015–16Midwestern 5–224–128th
2016–17Midwestern 8–185–159th
2017–18Midwestern 13–1410–107th
2018–19Midwestern 12-169–116th
2019–20Midwestern 7–105–8
Midwestern:158–164 (.491)
Total:158–164 (.491)

      National champion        Postseason invitational champion  
      Conference regular season champion        Conference regular season and conference tournament champion
      Division regular season champion      Division regular season and conference tournament champion
      Conference tournament champion


In April 2019 Johnson was diagnosed with stage 4 ovarian cancer. she battled the cancer for over a year, but lost her battle in June 2020 at the age of 47. [2] Marsha Sharp issued a statement: [13]

I am heartbroken today. Noel Johnson is one of the most beloved players in the history of Texas Tech women's basketball. Our hearts and prayers go out to Noel's family, friends and the entire Midwestern family.  Rest In Peace number 23.

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  1. 1 2 3 "Noel Johnson - Women's Basketball Coach". Texas State Athletics. Retrieved 2020-06-10.
  2. 1 2 Williams, Don. "Champion on court, in life: Former Lady Raider, '93 national title winner Johnson dies at 47". Lubbock Avalanche-Journal. Retrieved 2020-06-10.
  3. "Marsha Sharp". Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame. Retrieved 2020-06-11.
  4. "Division I Women's Basketball Records" (PDF). p. 67.
  5. 1 2 "Final 1992 Division I Women's Basketball Statistics Report" (PDF). NCAA.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  6. "Texas Tech 84, Ohio State 82". UPI. Retrieved 2020-06-11.
  7. "Final 1993 Division I Women's Basketball Statistics Report" (PDF). NCAA.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  8. "Final 1994 Division I Women's Basketball Statistics Report" (PDF). NCAA.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  9. "Final 1995 Division I Women's Basketball Statistics Report" (PDF). NCAA.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  10. 1 2 3 "MSU coach, former Texas Tech title guard Noel Johnson dies". Retrieved 2020-06-10.
  11. 1 2 "Longtime Midwestern State women's basketball coach Noel Johnson passes away at 47". Retrieved 2020-06-11.
  12. "Texas State Athletics Mourn the Loss of Noel Johnson". Texas State Athletics. Retrieved 2020-06-11.
  13. 1 2 "Midwestern State mourns passing of Noel Johnson". MSU Athletics. Retrieved 2020-06-11.
  14. "History and Records". MSU Athletics. Retrieved 2020-06-10.