Nevada Alum Armon Johnson joins Nevada’s basketball staff
A new addition to the Wolf Pack staff
Nevada Wolf Pack head coach Eric Musselman announced that Armon Johnson will join the basketball staff as a student assistant. Johnson played for the Wolf Pack from 2007-10, leaving after his junior year for the NBA.
Johnson finished his career at Nevada 11th in all-time scoring and 5th in assists. He is returning to Nevada to finish his bachelor’s degree after a career that began with the Portland Trail Blazers and included playing for a number of professional teams overseas.
The addition of Johnson brings Nevada’s already massive sized staff to 18. By comparison, Duke has 14 on staff; Kentucky 12, Gonzaga and Kansas have 9. How in the world has Musselman put together such a large staff on a limited budget and why has he chosen to continue to add to his staff (Johnson is in all probability the last hire for his season)?
Last year, Nevada’s spent just under 3.5 million on their basketball program compared to the 19 plus million Duke doled out for their program. The answer begins with grad assistants as well as an undergrad assistant, 7 in all. Grad assistants usually get paid a bare minimum and when you factor in positions that are utilized by other programs and paid in part by those other programs, the math seems to work.
Coach Musselman, like most coaches, is acutely aware how important positive motivation is to the success of individuals and teams. Famous motivational speaker Zig Zeigler’s quote “You can have everything you want in life, if you help enough other people get what they want.” seems appropriate here. Musselman wants’ very badly to bring a national championship home to Reno and for him to realize his dreams he must help others realize theirs.
Nevada is loaded with future professional basketball players, all dreaming of the NBA. The two most recent additions to the staff bring NBA experience with them, Johnson and former Kansas Jayhawk Rex Walters. Both know what it takes to make it to the NBA, the work and dedication required. Walters played on a Kansas team that made it to the final 4 in 1993, should Nevada make it that far his experience dealing with the media circus could prove to be quite valuable.
With the recent additions to his staff Musselman has signaled a commitment to help his players be prepared to play at the next level. If Nevada has a successful season then being a part of the Nevada staff will look extremely good on resumes. Helping grad assistants and coaches advance their careers, helping players get prepared to play at the next level, helping enough others to get what they want in life just might be the recipe Musselman is using to get what he wants, a National Championship.