Newberry names new athletics director

NEWBERRY, S.C.  Newberry College has appointed Sean Johnson as its new athletic director, effective April 1.

Johnson has served as athletic director for the University of Jamestown (North Dakota) since 2015. While serving at the University of Jamestown, Johnson saw student-athlete enrollment grow by 35%, to over 650 students. Under his leadership, the program added men’s and women’s ice hockey, men’s volleyball, and women’s swimming and diving. During Johnson’s tenure, the university completed two major capital projects, including the $16 million Harold Newman Arena in 2017, and a $12 million renovation of Gordon and Charlotte Hansen Stadium.

“It is an honor to serve as the next athletic director at Newberry College,” said Johnson. “I look forward to working with our student-athletes, coaches, college community and supporters to ensure we have the best athletic program in the South Atlantic Conference.”

Prior to Jamestown, Johnson served as athletic director at Division II Angelo State University (2012-15), and as associate athletic director at Division I University of North Dakota (2008-12), and New Mexico State University (2004-06).

“We are really excited to have Sean joining us as our next Director of Athletics,” said President Maurice Scherrens. “He was our unanimous top choice for the position, and he brings not only a great breadth of experience but also a solid understanding of the role of athletics at a small college. Sean is a leader who has a history of helping student-athletes achieve excellence in the classroom and on the courts and fields of competition. He is excited, creative, full of energy and a team player. He will help us reach greater heights.”

“We reviewed nearly 100 applicants, interviewed several candidates and then had the most difficult task of selecting the finalists for a campus interview,” said Dr. John Lesaine, chair of the search committee. “We were pleased at how many talented candidates this position attracted. It speaks volumes about the great things that are happening here at Newberry. I would like to thank the committee for their hard work. They truly did an outstanding job.”

During Johnson’s time at the University of Jamestown, several teams participated in NAIA postseason play, with men’s and women’s teams reaching the Elite Eight and the women’s track and field team winning several conference championships. At Angelo State University, six teams – football, volleyball, women’ soccer, men’s basketball, baseball and softball – participated in the NCAA postseason. The track and field programs finished in the top 20 in the country.

In his community, Johnson is the past president of Jamestown Rotary, and he has served on the boards of the Salvation Army of Jamestown, Jamestown Chamber of Commerce, and Jamestown Ambassadors.

He and his wife, Marcia, have a 23-year-old son, Ian. Johnson holds a bachelor’s degree in speech communications from University of Missouri at Columbia.

Johnson will succeed Ralph Patterson, who will retire Jan. 31.

“We are so grateful to Ralph for his service over the past five-and-a-half years, and we feel so fortunate to have Wayne Alexander, our senior associate AD, willing and able to serve as our interim athletic director until Sean arrives,” Scherrens said.

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