Gary Johnson begins his 13th season as the head coach for the Union women’s cross country team and 11th season for the men's cross country team.
Last season, Johnson earned the conference sweep for the seventh straight year as he led the Lady Bulldogs to their eighth straight TranSouth Title, while also leading the men to their seventh straight TranSouth Title. In his career, Johnson also led his teams to two women's region titles and one men's region title before the NAIA eliminated region play. Johnson has also put seven of his teams in the NAIA National Championship, which include four automatic qualifications for the women and three for the men.
Johnson has been named TranSouth Conference Coach of the Year in women’s cross country 10 times (1999, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010), men’s cross country nine times (2001, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010), and men’s tennis four times (1999-2002). He has also earned NAIA Region XI Coach of the year three times in women's cross country (2004, 2006, 2007) and twice in men's cross country (2006, 2007). Johnson has coached 17 national qualifiers including: Michelle Hardee (Gilmore) (2001), Janelle Royer (Campbell) (2002, 2003, 2004), Jill Konkol (2003), Candace Cross (2005), Hannah Clardy (2009), Chris Winter (2003, 2004), Cameron Groll (2003), Phillip Thompson (2004, 2005, 2006), John Fox (2005, 2006), Douglas Martin (2006), Zach Covington (2009), Alex Bett (2009). He has also coached seven automatic team qualifiers (women: 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010; men: 2007, 2008, 2010).
Originally from Tulsa, Okla., Johnson graduated from Union University in 1992 with a Bachelor of Science in Physical Education. He completed his Master of Science degree at the University of Memphis in December of 1993 and his Doctor of Arts in Physical Education from Middle Tennessee State in May of 2004.
Johnson is married to the former Holly Tignor of Jackson. The two are proud parents of their son, Miles Johnson, who was born on June 24, 2005. Johnson and his wife are active fitness runners and are members of Englewood Baptist Church.