Lawrence "Boogie" Johnson enters his third season as an assistant track and field coach at Southern Illinois University. Johnson oversees the recruiting and compliance for both the men's and women's programs, while concentrating his expertise on the Saluki sprinters and hurdlers.
Johnson has spent the last two seasons coaching the Saluki women sprinters, hurdlers and jumpers. In just two complete seasons, he has managed to guide his athletes to nine indoor and outdoor school records, and three Missouri Valley Conference/conference meet marks. Also during his time at SIU, Johnson has coached nine MVC indoor champions, four MVC runner-ups, two MVC outdoor champions, seven MVC outdoor runner-ups, 24 all-MVC selections, three MVC Scholar-Athletes, eight NCAA regional qualifiers, two all-Mideast Regional picks, two NCAA national qualifiers and one NCAA All-American.
Last season was a break out year for the Saluki women sprinters, hurdlers and jumpers under Johnson's watchful eye. Inna Turevsky emerged as a force in the triple jump at the MVC Indoor/Outdoor Championships. Turevsky established both a indoor meet record and school record, and qualified for the NCAA Regional outdoor meet.
Senior Korto Dunbar, on the other hand, continued her dominance in the hurdles. She successfully defended her 60H and 100H crowns and broke her own MVC indoor meet record, while going undefeated for two seasons. She also qualified provisionally for the 2004 NCAA national indoor meet and was selected to the NCAA Mideast all-region team.
Sprint sensation Kelsey Toussaint, widely regarded as one of the best overall sprinters in the MVC, truly lived up to that billing. Toussaint finished third in the 60m dash indoors and third in both the 200m and 400m dash at the league's outdoor championships. Not to mention, she anchored both the 4x100 and 4x400 relays, and qualfied for the NCAA Regional in three events.
Newcomers Sherlenia Green, Marquita Vines and Leslie Murillo also served notice to the Valley. Each scored at the indoor and outdoor championships as freshmen. All three also competed at the USA Junior National competition, and Vines came away with All-American honors in the 400H.
In 2003, Johnson coached Latrice Gray-Murphy to All-American status in the high jump at the 2003 NCAA National Championships, breaking a 13-year Saluki hiatus from the All-American platform. Dunbar also competed in the sprint hurdles at nationals, and broke the MVC all-time record in the process.
Prior to SIU, Johnson served as a graduate assistant coach at the University of Arkansas for the Lady Razorbacks. He primarily assisted Associate Head Coach Rolando Green and the Arkansas sprints crew. Johnson had been Green's top assistant throughout the Lady Razorbacks' amazing run to back-to-back SEC Triple Crown Championships.
While earning his degree, Johnson was also a member of the track team, where he helped Arkansas to four SEC championships, as well as a national indoor and outdoor championship in 1998.
Prior to running with the Hogs, Johnson ran for Long Beach City College, where he was team captain and MVP. He was South Coach Conference champion in the 400m, as his team finished runner-up in Southern California. He also earned a Associate of Arts degree in physical education and recreation from there in 1996.
In 1995, Johnson was on the Triple Crown Junior College Track and Field national championship team at Blinn College. He was a Texas track and field finalist in the 400m in 1994.
Johnson, who is currently in the process of finishing his master's degree in physical adaptation/education from Arkansas, hails from Prairie View, Texas. He resides in Carbondale with his wife, Lilly, their two daughters, Desirae (8) and Lania Amerie (7 months), and son, Lawrence Christopher (4).