Janine Emmer, left, and Amanda Krejcarek embrace Ripon College Athletic Director and former women’s basketball coach Julie Johnson during the private ceremony.
Janine Emmer, left, and Amanda Krejcarek embrace Ripon College Athletic Director and former women’s basketball coach Julie Johnson during the private ceremony.

   Julie Johnson left her mark on the Ripon College women’s basketball program during her 20-plus years as the Red Hawks’ coach.

   So it’s only fitting she did the same to the basketball court where she made a name for herself.

   The former head coach and current athletic director’s signature was placed on the court inside the Doc Weiske Gymnasium last week Thursday during a private ceremony as the court was renamed the “Johnson/Gillespie Court.”

   Johnson was joined last week by her family and more than 50 of her former players and coaches.

   “There are few individuals whose names are as synonymous with Red Hawks athletics as Julie Johnson,” Ripon College acting president and dean of faculty Ed Wingenbach said in an email to friends of the college and alumni. “During the last 29 years, she has taken the athletics department to new heights while serving as both Ripon’s first female athletic director and the winningest coach in Red Hawks’ women’s basketball history.”

   Johnson, who stepped down as the head coach of the women’s basketball team in 2013 to focus on her athletic director duties, amassed more than 300 victories.

   She also guided the Red Hawks to four Midwest Conference titles and four NCAA tournament appearances. In addition, she was named the Midwest Conference Coach of the Year four times and the NCAA Central Region Coach of the Year in 2004.

Read the full story in the March 28, 2019 edition of the Ripon Commonwealth Press.