VERMONT SPORTS HALL OF FAME

Matt Johnson

St. Albans

Basketball

Inducted 2018

 

One of the state’s most prolific scorers in high school and at the University of Vermont, Matt Johnson became the first UVM men's basketball player to be named conference player of the year, and was the first Vermont high school product to win a Division I men’s basketball conference player of the year award.  He also was a very successful high school coach at all levels for close to 20 years.

Prior to UVM, Johnson was a classmate at BFA-St. Albans of fellow VSHOF inductee John LeClair, and the middle of three talented brothers who each scored over 1,000 points at BFA. In 1985 he led the Bobwhites to the state D-I title game, the first and only Divison I 16th seed to knock off a top seed in boys basketball. He would lead BFA St. Albans to the state title the next season, the school’s second-ever and first since 1959. He twice was named Gatorade Vermont Basketball Player of the Year in 1986 and 1987, and was named the VSSA High School Athlete of the Year in 1987. He finished his career third all-time in state history with 2,121 points.

Highly touted but lightly recruited, Johnson remained in the state accepting the only Division I offer he received. At UVM became one of the conference's top scoring threats as a junior, leading the the America East (then known as the North Atlantic Conference) in three-pointers and helping to lead the Catamounts to their first-ever appearance in the conference championship game, earning a spot on the all-championship team. 

Johnson exploded as a senior, leading the conference in scoring and helping UVM to its first winning season in 10 years. He was named first team all-conference and the conference Player of the Year, beating out future NBA star Vin Baker of Hartford, among others, for the award. He finished his career with 1,264 points and graduated as the school’s leader in career three-pointers with 192.  

After graduation Johnson was the head coach at Proctor High in 1992-93, earning Marble Valley League coach of the year honors. Following a year as an assistant on the UVM coaching staff in 1993-94, he played professionally in Ireland for Queen's Strongbow. He returned to Vermont and became the head coach at Peoples Academy in Morrisville for two seasons. He would later become the head coach at Burlington High School for 14 seasons leading the Seahorses to nine trips to the D-I title game and four state titles before stepping down in 2016.


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