The Southern Utah-Findlay Prep connection is growing.
Findlay head coach Andy Johnson is leaving the Henderson, Nev., basketball powerhouse to joinTodd Simon’s staff at Southern Utah.
“I’m very excited to be joining the Southern Utah Thunderbird family,” Johnson said. “I’m really looking forward to learning and working with coach Simon, his great staff, and a great group of student athletes. It’s an exciting time to be an SUU Thunderbird.”
Johnson had been with Findlay since 2009 and took over as head coach in May of 2014. Simon was with Findlay from 2006-2013 and served as the head coach in his final season. Together they helped produce multiple NBA players and dozens of Division I athletes.
During their time coaching together, Simon and Johnson developed a close friendship and after Simon accepted the SUU job, the two talked about the possibility of one day sharing the sidelines together once again.
Once SUU assistant coach Drew Allen stepped into a director of operations role, that opportunity presented itself.
“It all kind of fell into place,” Simon said. “A little less than ideal being this stage of the game, but the right people are the right people, so we made it work.”
Simon called Johnson a blue-collar worker with a talent for player development and building relationships. During Johnson’s tenure at Findlay, Johnson coached nine McDonald’s All-Americans and 34 Division I college signees.
Findlay is a recruiting hotbed, with two players currently ranked in the top 20 of ESPN’s recruit rankings. With two coaches with strong connections to the prep school, could some top tier prospects be on their way to Cedar City?
“We have developed a lot of goodwill with a lot of folks,” Simon said. “And hopefully, a lot of those folks will continue to trust us at the college level to take care of their players.”
Along with Johnson, Simon also announced that Micah Fraction has joined the SUU staff as a special assistant. Fraction was an assistant at Saint James Catholic School in Maryland.
Findlay Prep assistant coach Rodney Haddix has been named the interim coach. Findlay was 28-2 last season and ranked No. 10 in the final USA TODAY High School Sports’ Super 25. This season’s team was expected to be bolstered by the addition of star guard Gary Trent Jr., who transferred from Minnesota.
The next coach will be Findlay’s fourth since Mike Peck left in 2012.