Joey Johnson recently completed his fifth season as the head coach of the Reinhardt University men’s soccer program.
Under the direction of Coach Johnson, the men’s soccer program have developed into a nationally respected program. His emphasis on cultivating a team-driven culture combined with high professional standards and an intentional focus on the holistic development of the athlete has created a unique environment where student-athletes have the opportunity to thrive on the field, in the classroom, and in the community.
In 2018, the Reinhardt men’s soccer program finished with a record of 14-4-2, as they claimed their second consecutive Appalachian Athletic Conference championship and advanced to the NAIA National Championship tournament. The Eagles rose to national rankings of 12th in the NAIA Coach’s Top 25 poll and 13th in the MRPI polls respectively. During the 2018 season, Reinhardt had outscored opponents 51-11 heading into the NAIA national tournament.
The Reinhardt University men’s soccer program made history in 2017 as they captured the AAC regular season championship with an undefeated record of 8-0-1 in AAC play. This achievement was made even more impressive given the strength of the AAC as the conference featured five programs in the Top 25 national rankings in 2017.
In his first season with the Eagles in 2014, Reinhardt finished with a 15-3 record and earned a regular season AAC Championship for the first time in the program’s history. The Eagles shattered program records as they rose in the NAIA national polls to as high as 14th. This inaugural season served to build a foundation for future success as the Eagles have accumulated a record of 61-24-5 in the past 5 seasons under Coach Johnson while maintaining a consistent presence in the NAIA Top 25 polls. The combination of a creative attacking mentality with a disciplined approach to the game defensively has led to the Eagles success on the conference, regional and national levels.
In five seasons at Reinhardt, Johnson has coached 30 AAC All-Conference selections and 12 NSCAA All-Region East selections as well as 2 NAIA All-Americans (HM), 1 AAC Freshman of the Year, 1 AAC Defensive Player of the Year and 1 AAC Player of the Year which are all program firsts.
During Johnson’s tenure, the men’s soccer program has also earned national recognition for their academic success. In 2017-18, the Eagles were ranked No. 2 in the nation among all NAIA programs as they maintained a combined TEAM GPA of 3.61. This follows a No. 1 national ranking in 2016-17 and No. 2 in 2015-16 among 206 NAIA programs. Johnson has seen his student-athletes selected 56 times to the AAC All-Academic team and 24 times as national Daktronics NAIA Scholar-Athlete honorees.
Coach Johnson was named AAC Coach of the Year and NSCAA East-Region Coach of the Year for the 2012, 2013 and 2017 campaigns. Most recently, Johnson was selected as the AAC Coach of the Year for the 2018 season.
Prior to Reinhardt, Johnson served for two seasons as the head coach at Bryan College where he saw his team rise as high as No. 15 in the NAIA national rankings while winning an AAC Championship in 2013 qualifying for the NAIA national tournament.
Coach Johnson brings a wealth of experience to the RU program as a veteran coach and a former professional player. Johnson served on both the coaching staff of UNC Wilmington (NCAA D1) and with the Wilmington Hammerheads (USL Pro) under USL Hall of Fame coach, David Irving, for the 2011 campaign. In 2010, Johnson spent 6 months with Club Alianza Lima, the most historic professional club in the Peruvian 1st Division while living in Peru developing a vision for an indigenous coaching network among Amazonian tribal people.
From 2006 to 2009, Coach Johnson served as an Associate Head Coach with the men’s program at Bryan College. In that span of four seasons, the Lions compiled 47 wins, captured two AAC championships, and qualified for the NAIA national tournament for the first time in history. Twice the Lions finished ranked in the Top 10 NSCAA NCCAA D1 final national poll.
Coach Johnson served as a player/assistant with the longest running professional club in Canada, London City FC, in 2006. In addition, he was an assistant coach at Southern Wesleyan University (2001-2004), Milligan College (1997-2000), and Bryan College (1996) for both the men’s and women’s programs, capturing six conference titles and advancing to one national championship final in 2003 with SWU.
Coach Johnson has earned an A license from the United States Soccer Federation and a Premier diploma from the NSCAA.
As a collegiate player, Johnson had a successful playing career for Bryan College (NAIA) and Liberty University (NCAA D1). After graduation from Liberty, Johnson was signed to a professional contract in South America with Aurora FC and began a pro career that would span a decade in the USA, Canada, and South America. Johnson won national championships as a professional in the USA with both the highly respected Charlotte Eagles in 2000 and Wilmington Hammerheads in 2003. While playing as a professional, Johnson represented his clubs on five continents while experiencing the world’s beautiful cultures through the gift of friendship that the game of soccer so quickly provides.
Coach Johnson earned his B.S. in History from Liberty University in 1996. He and his wife, Suzanne, live in the area with their three sons.