The South Bay Lakers named Dane Johnson as head coach, it was announced today by team President/CEO Joey Buss and General Manager Nick Mazzella. Johnson becomes the 10th head coach in franchise history.
“Dane has developed many coaching attributes over the last seven years with this organization,” Buss said. “We are excited to see his growth in becoming our next head coach. He has a key understanding of our culture and goal of winning a championship while developing high-level talent for the NBA.”
Johnson spent the last six seasons on the South Bay coaching staff, including one season as associate head coach (2022-23), four seasons as an assistant coach (2017-20, 2021-22) and one year as a coaching assistant (2016-17). Additionally, the Columbus, Ohio, native has served as an assistant coach for the Los Angeles Lakers’ summer league team, including the 2017 squad that went on to win the championship in Las Vegas. Johnson first entered the coaching ranks by working at ‘The Hoop’ in Salem, Ore., a competitive youth basketball training facility.
“It is an honor to be named the new head coach of this organization,” Johnson said. “My goal moving forward will be to continue building on the successes we’ve had over the past couple years, while striving to take that next step to a championship in collaboration with the Lakers organization. Our pursuit will focus on excellence, both as individuals and as members of the South Bay Lakers organization.”
“Dane’s impact with South Bay has led to the team’s success while directly helping players realize their dreams in the NBA,” Mazzella said. “We are confident in his ability to implement Coach (Darvin) Ham’s principles and create emphasis on developing our players on and off the court.”
Prior to one professional season competing in the International Basketball League (2012-13), Johnson played collegiately for Portland State University (2009-12) and Western Oregon University (2008-09). As a freshman for the Wolves, he earned Great Northwest Athletic Conference Freshman of the Year honors. Johnson played at St. Francis DeSales High School in Ohio, where he led his team to two undefeated league championships and was a first-team all-league selection on three occasions.