The San Antonio Stars are about to start their 2017 season with many new faces, and one familiar face in a new role.
After 10 seasons with the Stars, Coach Dan Hughes retired following the 2016 season. After his retirement, and a couple-month long search, the Stars selected 5-year Stars’ assistant coach, and former Stars player, Vickie Johnson to fill Hughes’ shoes in the leading role.
Vickie Johnson, a graduate of Louisiana Tech, was selected by the New York Liberty with the 12th pick in the 1997 WNBA draft. She played with the Liberty for 8 seasons before spending her last 3 seasons with the San Antonio Stars. Johnson started her first coaching season on April 29th in an 87-81 win against the Dallas Wings.
“It was good, overall,” said Johnson of her first preseason game with the Stars. “We only had six days of training camp. I think overall we played well as a team.”
Coach Johnson acknowledged her nerves going into her first game as a coach.
“I was a little nervous,” a happy coach Johnson said following the win. “I was very nervous, but once we started I was okay.”
The Stars are now 1-1 on the preseason following a 73-59 loss to the Los Angeles Sparks Saturday night. Still, the Silver and Black appreciate their new coach and look forward to a season under “VJ” as they call her.
“VJ, obviously, was a player,” said 11-year veteran Monique Currie of Vickie Johnson. “So she understands the game.”
With 11 years of experience as a player and five years as an assistant coach, Johnson clearly has the qualifications to coach the Stars.
“Very exciting,” Johnson said when asked about media day and the beginning of the season. “To actually see everyone, all our players pretty much, here, it’s a great feeling. You know, the season’s about to start, the energy is high, and the expectations are high.”
When asked how her transition has been going from a player to assistant to head coach, Coach Johnson replied through a laugh, “The only difficult part is talking a lot.”
The Stars will begin their regular season on May 13th against the New York Liberty.