July 9, 2003
BALTIMORE (July 9) -- Kerri Johnson, the associate head coach for the Loyola women's lacrosse team in 2003 and as an assistant coach for the Greyhounds from 1998-2002, has been named the head women's lacrosse coach at Loyola College.
Johnson, a 1997 Loyola graduate, becomes the sixth head coach in the 31-year history of the Greyhound program and the second former Loyola player to become the team's head coach. She follows her mentor and collegiate coach, 1984 Loyola graduate Diane Geppi-Aikens, as former Greyhounds to eventually lead the Loyola program.
"I feel honored and privileged to be given this opportunity to lead a program that means so much to me," said Johnson. "We all know how high Diane has set the bar for this program--both on and off the field--and I hope to use what I've learned from being on her staff to allow this team to continue competing at the highest level."
"Kerri has been a valuable asset to our women's lacrosse program as a coach and a player, and her performance this past season under trying circumstances was simply extraordinary," said Loyola Director of Athletics Joe Boylan. "We feel there is no other person better suited to lead this program into the future and to continue its tremendous legacy of success."
Johnson, 28, was promoted to associate head coach of women's lacrosse in May 2002 and helped lead the Greyhounds to a 17-2 record and the No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament in 2003. Loyola spent much of the season ranked No. 1 in the Brine/IWLCA poll and reached the NCAA semifinals for the third time in the last four seasons.
"This past season, Kerri Johnson provided superior leadership to the women's lacrosse team during very difficult and challenging circumstances," said Loyola College President Rev. Harold Ridley, S.J. "I have every confidence that under her leadership, the women's lacrosse program will maintain its outstanding competitive level."
As an assistant coach to Geppi-Aikens from 1998-2002, Johnson worked with teams that were ranked in the top five nationally three times and with squads that reached the NCAA semifinals in 2000 and 2001. The Greyhounds had a 71-23 overall record in that time and won Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) titles in 1998, 2000 and 2002.
As a player for the Greyhounds from 1994-97, Johnson fashioned one of the finest careers in program history. She finished with 107 career goals, currently 18th on the team's all-time list, and earned first-team All-America honors in 1996 and in 1997, when she was the NCAA tournament's leading scorer and led Loyola to the national championship game. She led the 1997 team with 45 goals and won the Ernest Lagna Award, given to Loyola's top senior female student-athlete, following that season. She also had a team-leading 34 goals in 1996 and earned third-team All-America honors in 1995, her sophomore season, after scoring 20 goals and adding seven assists.
Johnson was also a key member of United States National Teams during her college career and after graduation, traveling around the globe representing the United States in several World Championship events.
A Baltimore native and graduate of Perry Hall High School, Johnson was the Baltimore Sun Baltimore County Player of the Year in 1993 and a first-team All-Metro selection. She led the Gators to the 1992 4A state championship and twice led the state in scoring while a high school player.
Johnson, who earned a bachelor's degree in elementary education in 1997, also received a master's degree in education from Loyola in 2001.
In addition to her coaching duties, Johnson is the director of several lacrosse camps in the Baltimore area, including the prestigious Elite 300 camp that brings many of the top high school players in the country to the area during the summer months.