Coach Avery Johnson
Avery Johnson was introduced as Alabama's 20th head men's basketball coach on April 6, 2015. Johnson, who led the San Antonio Spurs to the 1999 NBA title and was named the 2006 NBA Coach of the Year, came to the Capstone after a successful coaching career in the NBA.
Johnson's first year at Alabama turned many heads in the college basketball world as it didn't take long for fans and student-athletes alike to heed his motto "Buckle Up" in reference to the excitement he expects his tenure will offer.
During the 2015-16 season, his inaugural as a collegiate head coach, Johnson gave a glimpse of just that. The Crimson Tide finished with an 18-15 record and earned an at-large selection to the 2016 National Invitation Tournament – Alabama's fifth postseason trip in the last seven years.
However, fans could see both tangible and intangible evidence that the men's basketball program was headed in the right direction.
The fan support was tremendous throughout the year. Helped by reseating the student section to create a better in-game atmosphere, Alabama averaged a school record 13,110 fans per game – a number that ranked 22nd-best in the nation. Furthermore, the Tide also sold out five home games, which was the most sellouts in a single year since the 2006-07 season.
On the court, Alabama knocked off four teams that were ranked in the Associated Press' Top 25 during the 2015-16 campaign which led the SEC. It marked the first time since 2001-02 that an Alabama team recorded four AP Top 25 victories in the regular season.
Awards and Honors
- 2006 NBA Coach of the Year
- 1999 NBA Champion (San Antonio Spurs)
- NBA Coach of the Month (April 2005, November 2005, January 2006)
- 2015 Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame
- 2009 San Antonio Hall of Fame
- San Antonio Retired Johnson's Number 6 on Dec. 22, 2007
- San Antonio Spurs All-Time assist leader (4,474)
- 1988 SWAC Player of the Year
- 1987 SWAC Player of the Year
- NCAA Record holder for assists during a season (13.3)
- NCAA Record holder for career assists average (12.0)
- NCAA Single-Game assists record holder (22)