Originally created 03/10/99

Stanford assistant Trent Johnson new coach at UNR



RENO, Nev. -- Stanford assistant Trent Johnson was named head basketball coach at the University of Nevada Monday on the strength of his West Coast recruiting ties and a pledge to build a winning program.

"I think this is very, very doable in terms of building a winner, building a program," Johnson, 42, said during a news conference on the Reno campus of the Big West Conference school.

"I've been spoiled the last three years playing in late March. ... And I'm not talking about the NIT," he said of the Stanford squad that has gone 78-19 in his three years as an assistant to Mike Montgomery.

Johnson said he'll remain with the Cardinal through the NCAA tournament, but will mix in some recruiting for the Wolfpack at his native Seattle this week.

Johnson signed a 3-year contract worth about $125,000 a year, "with a commitment to extend two years," UNR athletic director Chris Ault said.

Ault said he wanted to make the announcement quickly to get some publicity during the NCAA tournament.

Nevada finished 8-18, 4-12 in the Big West this year, suffering through a nine-game losing streak and failing to qualify for the conference tournament it held in Reno last week.

Pat Foster, who announced his resignation with a few weeks remaining in the season, posted a 90-81 record in six years with the Wolfpack.