Steve Johnson has plenty of experience on the sidelines when it comes to coaching basketball. The experienced head coach at Rio Hondo has spent time coaching on the women’s and men’s side for the Roadrunners. Johnson also spent time coaching on the women’s side at Long Beach City, and Cerritos and on the men and women’s side at the four year level at Cal State Dominguez Hills. “The biggest difference is at the junior college level you don’t have a lot of time compared to the four year level with the players,” said Johnson. The turnover of players year to year at the junior college level can be frustrating at times but at the end of the day it is about moving players on to the next level.
The culture is something that starts with a family environment and often gets overlooked in programs around the country. Coach Johnson has experience coaching men and women but one thing that sits on top of the list is the word family. “We want to have a family culture,” said Johnson. “We want our players to care about each other long term and not just for the time being.” added Johnson. The family environment is big at Rio Hondo and it helps with communication on and off the floor and in relationships in life.
The communication and relationship factors help out in the recruiting process for the Roadrunners. Coach Johnson wants student athletes with solid qualities on and off the court. “We want guys that have a desire to get better in every aspect of life and care about their teammates,” said Johnson. The desire to get better is something that goes a long ways in the Roadrunner program. The ultimate goal is to move players on and give them a chance to better themselves and get a degree. “A degree is a life changer,” added Johnson. Wins and losses matter, but being part of a family and having a chance to move on an earn a degree are things that mean to most to the Roadrunner program.