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Husband-wife coaching team has deep Kansas roots

April 16th, 2018

NORTH NEWTON, KAN. – Bethel College will welcome its second husband-wife coaching team with the appointment of Drew Johnson, head women’s basketball coach, and Nicole (Ohlde) Johnson, assistant coach.

Athletic Director Tony Hoops announced the hires July 20, following the resignation earlier this month of Adam Esses, who took a position at the University of Texas-San Antonio, an NCAA Division I school.

“I could not be more pleased to have Drew and Nicole join our Bethel College athletic staff,” Hoops said. “[As a coaching team,] they were a top target of mine from the beginning.

“Having known Drew for many years, I know he will build a conference-contending program here that represents our institution well.”

Nicole Johnson played for Kansas State University from 2000-04, the high point to date for women’s basketball at K-State, when the women made four straight trips to the NCAA tournament, including one Sweet 16 appearance. From 2004-10, she played professional basketball, seven seasons in the WNBA and nine in the Euro League

"Having grown up in Kansas during the Ohlde era of women’s basketball, I know the type of competitor she is,” Hoops said. “Her ability to train and develop players with their AAU program is top-notch, something our ladies here at Bethel will benefit greatly from.”

“Following last week’s hirings in softball and volleyball, Bethel women’s athletics is in a great place going forward.”

Hoops recently announced that Stacy Middleton, formerly head softball coach, will take the head volleyball coach position. Her husband, David Middleton, formerly assistant softball coach, will assume the head coach role in that sport.

For the last nine seasons, 2008-16, Drew Johnson has held coaching positions at Valley Center, Derby and Clay Center High Schools.

The Johnsons are co-founders of Nicole Ohlde Basketball Academy (2014) and Ohlde Elite Basketball (2015), for which Drew serves as player trainer and club coach, respectively.

A native of Valley Center whose parents now live in Hutchinson, Drew Johnson is a graduate of Friends University, Wichita.

“It is an absolute honor to be named the new head women’s basketball coach at Bethel College,” he said. “I will give everything I have to make this a successful program that Bethel alumni, students, faculty and supporters can be proud of.

“Thank you to current President John Sheriff and Athletic Director Tony Hoops for their support of my vision for Bethel women’s basketball. I am excited to get started investing in this great group of players and staff.”

Nicole Ohlde Johnson, a Clay Center native, graduated from K-State with a degree in social science. She was twice the Big 12 Player of the Year and a two-time All-American. She also earned Academic All-Big 12 honors three times..

She is camp coordinator for Nicole Ohlde Basketball Academy and Ohlde Elite, and also spent a number of years as camp coordinator of Deb Patterson Basketball Camp.

Nicole Johnson also thanked Hoops and Sheriff, adding, “It has been my dream since finishing my playing career to stay involved in women’s basketball. I would like to thank Bethel College for this incredible opportunity to join the [athletics] staff. I look forward to using my experiences to help build Bethel women’s basketball.”

Bethel College is the only private college in Kansas listed in the analysis of top colleges and universities, the Washington Monthly National Universities-Liberal Arts section and the National Liberal Arts College category of U.S. News & World Report, all for 2016–17. The four-year liberal arts college is affiliated with Mennonite Church USA. For more information, see

In sports, Bethel competes within the 12-school Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference, and the NAIA For more information, see

Bethel College does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, creed, age, gender, sexual orientation, parental or marital status, gender identity, gender expression, medical or genetic information, ethnic or national origins, citizenship status, veteran or military status or disability. E-mail questions to

About Bethel

As the first Mennonite college founded in North America, Bethel College celebrates a tradition of progressive Christian liberal arts education, diversity within community, and lifelong learning.