It’s official: UGA’s Kwanza Johnson leaving for job at TCU

Kwanza Johnson is leaving the Georgia basketball program.

Johnson, the first assistant coach hired by head coach Mark Fox at UGA in 2009, is leaving to join the staff of coach Trent Johnson at TCU. Kwanza Johnson confirmed the news – first reported by the Fort Worth Star Telegram a month ago – on Thursday night.

“Yes, I’m heading to TCU,” Johnson said. “It just took a while.”

The move puts Johnson and his family closer to home. Johnson grew up in Oklahoma City, Okla., and played college basketball under Tubby Smith at Tulsa.

“Kwanza is like family to me,” Fox said in a statement released by UGA Friday morning. “He’s one of my best friends, not only in the coaching business but in life. He’s done a great job for us the past seven years, both at Nevada and here at Georgia, so his contributions to our staff will be missed. We certainly wish him and his family the very best.”

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Johnson has strong recruiting ties in the Southwest. He was the lead recruiter for recent signee Cameron Forte, who came to Georgia from Howard College in Big Spring, Texas.

Coincidentally, it was a hire by Smith that created the opening for Kwanza Johnson. Smith is now head coach at Texas Tech and hired Alvin “Pooh” Williamson from TCU as one of his assistant coaches.

Johnson worked with Fox for three years at Nevada and came with him to Georgia in 2009. He was the Bulldogs’ first assistant on the ground and recruiting. Georgia’s other two assistants, Stacey Palmore and Philip Pearson, remain on the staff.

Kwanza Johnson’s position is now posted on the UGA’s jobs website. It is uncertain who might succeed Johnson, though operations coordinator Jonas Hayes likely will be a candidate.

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