Honors & Awards
An established coach with a track record of success in leading her golfers to NCAA Regional competition and conference championships, Lisa Johnson was named the head coach of the Nebraska women's golf program, June 17, 2019.
Johnson, who came to Nebraska after serving as the head coach at the University of Idaho (2007-19), became just the fourth head coach in the 45-year history of the Husker women's golf program.
"She is a proven winner and a fierce competitor who relates well with her players," Nebraska Athletic Director Bill Moos said. "I have admired Lisa’s body of work for some time and truly believe that she has what it takes to compete for championships."
Johnson, whose hiring followed the retirement of Robin Krapfl after 32 seasons guiding the Husker program, said her mission was to bring the highest level of achievement to Nebraska golfers both on and off the course by building on her own experiences and Nebraska's own tradition of success.
“I am incredibly thankful and excited for the opportunity to lead Nebraska women’s golf,” Johnson said. “It is an honor to take over for Coach Robin Krapfl. She left a terrific legacy, and I can’t wait to get to work with the strong roster we have returning and the incoming freshman.”
As a coach, Johnson's success at Idaho has been impressive, including the 2016 and 2018 Big Sky Conference titles. Johnson led Idaho to three NCAA Regional appearances during her time in Moscow, including trips in 2010, 2016 and 2018. Her teams also finished second in the conference five more times, including 2009, 2012, 2014 (Western Athletic Conference) and 2017 and 2019 (Big Sky).
Johnson was a two-time WAC Coach of the Year (2010, 2012). She earned her PGA Class A Professional status in 2016.
Johnson's golfers have enjoyed outstanding individual success. She tutored two-time All-American Kayla Mortellaro to three WAC Player-of-the-Year honors and a WAC Freshman-of-the-Year award. Mortellaro, who earned individual NCAA Regional bids in 2009, 2011 and 2012, and competed as a member of Idaho's 2010 NCAA Regional team, went on to earn her LPGA card in 2013.
In 2019, Vandal senior Sophie Hausmann joined Mortellaro in becoming a three-time individual NCAA Regional participant. Hausmann, a two-time Big Sky Player of the Year (2018, 2019) and a four-time first-team All-Big Sky selection, carried a 72.2 stroke average as a senior. The native of Nottuln, Germany, competed in the 2018 U.S. Women's Open and played in the inaugural Augusta National Women's Amateur in 2019.
Hausmann and Mortellaro were joined as Vandal NCAA Regional participants by Teo Poplawski (2011) and Leilanie Kim (2015). Kim went on to advance to the final stage as an individual at the 2015 NCAA Championship.
Hausmann and Mortellaro also headline a list of 29 all-conference golfers coached by Johnson in her career in Moscow. Hausmann (Big Sky) and Mortellaro (WAC) were both four-time first-team all-conference honorees. In 2019, Hausmann was joined on the Big Sky first team by sophomore teammate Valeria Patino, while Michelle Kim was named to the second team and freshman Vicky Tsai was honorable-mention All-Big Sky. Michelle Kim was also a two-time first-team All-Big Sky selection (2016, 2017) during her career, which recognizes the top five players in the conference. She added a third-team award in 2018.
Kim was one of three Idaho golfers to earn WGCA All-America Scholar recognition in 2018 - her second consecutive award. Overall, Idaho golfers earned 37 WGCA Scholar-America awards during Johnson's time in Moscow, while her Vandals earned 51 academic all-conference awards.
“I am committed to developing players and providing a comprehensive student-athlete experience, which includes competing at a high level and reaching the postseason,” Johnson said. “With Nebraska’s rich tradition of excellence and strong community support, I believe we will achieve those goals.”
Success in the classroom for her golfers has always gone hand-in-hand with success on the course. Johnson, who was the Gonzaga Female Student-Athlete of the Year during her career as a collegiate golfer, led her Idaho teams to annual recognition for its academic success. The Vandal women's golf program also has been honored each of the past five seasons with NCAA Public Recognition Awards for its multi-year Academic Progress Rate (APR) scores.
Since 2007, every Idaho women's golfer who has exhausted her eligibility at Idaho has earned her degree. In 2009, Johnson's Vandals were honored for posting the No. 1 team grade-point average (3.78) in the NCAA. Idaho's 2016 team added a 3.68 GPA to rank No. 23 in the country among all women's golf teams.
Johnson did more than just help build the Idaho program on the course and in the classroom, she assisted in all phases of fundraising, design and construction of the Jess and Kathleen Hall Performance Golf Center at the University of Idaho Golf Course, which was dedicated in 2016.
During Johnson's first season at Idaho in 2007-08, she was also the head men's golf coach. She went to Moscow after spending five-and-a-half seasons as the head women's golf coach at Boise State from January of 2002 through May of 2007.
Johnson was a West Coast Conference All-Academic selection and was also the president of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. As a Bulldog golfer, she won three individual tournament titles and was an All-West Coast Conference selection.
Johnson graduated cum laude from Gonzaga in 2000, before earning her master's degree from the University of Idaho in 2002.
While earning her master’s degree, Johnson served as a graduate assistant for both the Vandal men's and women's golf programs. The 2001 Idaho women's team won the Big West Conference title and advanced to NCAA Regional competition, while featuring the Big West Player of the Year.
She was married in February 2008 to John Johnson, senior associate athletic director at Washington State University. The couple has twin children, Ellie and Cooper.