The final finish for Coach Johnson

Hannah Greene |  Sports Editor

Coach Mike Johnson of the cross country and track and field programs has retired after coaching for 16 years at Western Oregon University. Johnson has helped both the cross country and track and field teams win championships, as well as taken them to Nationals — almost every year since he started.
Before joining the Wolves, Johnson was able to make a name for himself coaching at quite a few distinguished schools, including Highline Community College, Eastern Washington University, University of Portland, University of Washington and Boise State University — while also being an assistant coach here at Western for three seasons before taking on the role as head coach in 2004. 

Not only does Johnson have titles at Western amongst the cross country and track and field teams: but also he coached the teams at Washington that won two Pac-10 cross country championships. Johnson was able to help Portland’s cross country team win seven consecutive West Coast Conference titles. Johnson’s feats do not end there — while a Pilot, Johnson founded the women’s program and earned himself a spot in the Portland Hall of Fame. 

The titles and honors do not end, with Johnson earning Pac-10 Coach of the Year three times, NCAA West Regional Cross Country Coach of the Year four times and earned NAIA National Coach of the Year. 

For 16 years, Johnson has made an impact in multiple student-athlete’s lives and an impact on Western’s campus. Johnson will be greatly missed, but his titles and influence will carry on.


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