Louisville assistant coach Kenny Johnson joined the Cardinal staff on April 23rd and the former Indiana assistant and recruiting coordinator was saddled with large expectations.
While Johnson is a noted recruiter with strong ties on the east coast, he was also asked to do something else by Louisville head coach Rick Pitino: lose weight. Since taking the Louisville job, Johnson has undergone dramatic lifestyle changes that have led to him losing an astounding 92 pounds in four months. The transformation of Johnson throughout the spring and summer has been remarkable, as detailed in a story on Louisville’s athletics site.
“During the interview process, Coach Pitino stressed having the best conditioned team in college basketball,” Johnson said in the story. “We don’t want to ask them to do what the coaching staff is not willing to do. I feel like I am in better shape and hopefully I’ve been sharper, a little more focused and a little less tired.”
Pitino challenged Johnson to be under 240 pounds by the start of the fall semester and Johnson passed that challenge as he moves on to his next goal of being under 15 percent body fat.
Instead of undergoing fad diets or using diet pills Johnson stayed steady with diet and exercise. Johnson got rid of bread, desserts, soda, red meat, fried foods and processed foods and juices, according to the story.
Johnson now exercises about an hour a day and works with Louisville strength and conditioning coach Ray Ganong to help with his weight loss.
This is a tremendous story and shows how committed Johnson is to improving his health. We’ve also seen Providence head coach Ed Cooley recently lose a lot of weight as well and this is the kind of positive trend that would be great to see continue among college basketball coaches.