RIVERSIDE--Derrick Johnson, a former NCAA Division II Head Baseball Coach and Associate Athletic Director at Benedict College in South Carolina today was named Athletic Director for Riverside City College. Johnson succeeds Barry Meier, who retired on June 30, 2012, after 32 years as a coach, associate professor and, for the past seven years, athletic director/dean.
“We are thrilled to have attracted someone of Johnson’s experience and professional caliber,” said RCC President Cynthia Azari. “His background in administration, operations, coaching, and communications is perfectly suited to the challenging job of overseeing 17 competitive men’s and women’s athletic programs, which have garnered more than 40 conference, state and national titles.”
At Benedict College, Johnson was responsible for the daily operations and game day planning for 14 sports, as well as media relations, athletic marketing and fundraising, and sports publications. He arrived at Benedict College in 2000 as Assistant Director for Public Relations, after working as a public relations coordinator for the South Carolina State Housing and Development Authority. In 2002, Johnson was named Sports Information Director/Head Baseball Coach, earning Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Coach of the Year honors in 2009, the same year he led his team to a divisional championship. He was promoted to Associate Athletic Director following the 2009 season.
“Benedict College is a great institution that holds academic success to high regard. The same academic morals and values that have shaped my career as an athletic administrator are found here at Riverside City College,” Johnson said. “RCC is a unique institution with a bold vision and a tradition of winning. This is a great opportunity to serve and become a part of RCC history.”
Off the field, Johnson pursues active roles in the community. In 2005, he helped shape the bid to host the SIAC spring sports championships in the city of Columbia, and in 2010 he developed Benedict College’s Inaugural Daniel Burgess Tricycle Relays, which was awarded the National NCAA Division II Community Engagement Award of the Year. Johnson is a member of several professional and civic organizations including the College Sports Information Directors Association, the Black College Coaches Association, and the Association of Black Journalists.
A native of New Jersey, Johnson earned a bachelor’s in Journalisms/Mass Communications from the University of South Carolina-Aiken and a master’s in Sports Science from the United States Sports Academy. He was inducted into the New Jersey Athletic Hall of Fame in 2008 for his accomplishments as a football and baseball player. In 1993 and 1994, the Florida Marlins drafted him.
Johnson starts as RCC athletic director on Wednesday, August 22.