A&M-Commerce selects Jim Johnson as athletic director
By Bill Powers, Texas A&M University-Commerce Sports Information Director
Jun 10, 2005

COMMERCE -- After a nationwide search, Texas A&M University-Commerce has selected Jim Johnson as its new athletic director. A&M-Commerce president Dr. Keith D. McFarland made the announcement on Thursday.

Johnson, the associate athletic director for development and the director of government relations at Central Missouri State University, has nearly 15 years of experience in intercollegiate athletics. He will direct the A&M-Commerce program that has 11 intercollegiate sports and won Lone Star Conference championships in men's basketball and women's soccer during the 2004-05 academic year.

Johnson spent five years working at the NCAA headquarters as a membership services representative, then a membership coordinator and Division II governance liaison. He followed that with a position as an intercollegiate athletics consultant with the law firm of Hall, Render, Killian, Heath and Lyman, P.S.C., prior to his appointment at CMSU.

No stranger to the LSC, Johnson spent seven years at Tarleton State University where he was compliance coordinator and men's athletic coordinator. He also served Tarleton as an assistant to the athletic director, head men's golf coach, head women's volleyball coach, and was a member of the department of health and physical education faculty. He helped pilot Tarleton's move from the NAIA into the NCAA and the LSC.

"We're pleased that Jim is joining us at A&M-Commerce," stated Dr. McFarland. "He's well known in Division II and brings a wealth of knowledge and experience in intercollegiate athletics with him."

"He has invaluable experience with the NCAA and his broad perspective on intercollegiate athletics impressed the search committee," Dr. McFarland added.

"We are confident he will lead all of our men's and women's sports to new heights."

A native of Jacksboro, the son of Dottie and the late Clifford Johnson, Jim Johnson earned his bachelor's degree in business administration in 1988 from Tarleton and added a master's of education from TSU in 1991.

"I'm very excited about returning to the Lone Star Conference and the opportunity that Dr. McFarland is giving me," said Johnson. "I can't think of a better place than A&M-Commerce. We have a quality staff and supportive president to go with a great tradition. It's a great fit."

Johnson's also proud to note that A&M-C Athletic Association president Ron Newsome was instrumental in getting his athletics administrative career started by hiring him at Tarleton State in 1990.

Tarleton and A&M-Commerce are both members of the Texas A&M University System.

Johnson and his wife Cindy are the parents of two sons, Ely (five) and Riley (two).

"Cindy and I are looking forward to coming to Commerce," Johnson added.  "We plan on becoming involved and making a contribution to the community and the university."

Johnson will arrive on campus July 18. He replaces Dr. Tom Tallach who has served as interim athletic director since February, 2004, when Paul Peak retired.

"I want to thank Tom Tallach for his outstanding job as interim athletic director," Dr. McFarland said. "He continued to move our program forward over the past year."