Victor Valley College’s Basketball Head Coach Dies of Heart Attack at 45

Posted: January 12, 2018 in AVC Men's Basketball

victor valley coach

I talked on and off this past year to Coach Johnson at summer shootouts and pre-conference tournaments.  He was always smiling and upbeat and was really excited about the team he recruited this year.  In fact, Victor Valley put together a stunning win against AVC several weeks ago in the Cuyamaca tournament.  He was thrilled with his accomplishment beating AVC.

When I read below in the CCCAA website that Coach Johnson passed away due to an unexpected heart attack, I was shocked.  Our condolences to the Victor Valley program and his wife and two small children.  We will miss you.

Jan 10, 2018
The CCCMBCA is sad to announce the passing of Victor Valley College head coach Troy Johnson, 45. Johnson, who was in his second year as the Rams’ head coach, reportedly suffered a heart attack yesterday (Tuesday, January 9) and passed away.

He joined the College athletic department in August of 2016. Johnson had amassed over 16 years of collegiate coaching experience with eight in the California community college system. “Coach J” as known by his staff and players enjoyed two successful seasons as the men’s basketball at Merritt College before moving on to San Jose State University as the video coordinator and administrative assistant coach for the Spartans men’s basketball program. Before he became a head coach he served as assistant at College of San Francisco and Ohlone College.

He also gained valuable experience as a coach for NCAA DII powerhouse Adams State University. While at Adams State, Johnson helped the Grizzlies assemble an offensive attack that was ranked in the top 10 in points per game.

“The 2018 season will continue with a heavy heart as we learn about and attempt to cope with the passing of one of our own, Victor Valley Head Coach Troy Johnson,” Steve Ball, CCCMBCA president, said in a statement. “Troy was a great advocate and mentor for his player and represents the character that the CCCMBCA aspires to model. His smile and enthusiasm will be missed.”
A native of Brooklyn, NY, Johnson played junior college basketball at Merritt College, then moved to the southwest and played for the Mustangs of Western New Mexico University in Silver City, NM.

“I enjoyed having Coach Troy Johnson on staff,” Jaye Tashima, Victor Valley College athletic director, said. “He has brought the program up to a highly competitive level. He was always in it for the student-athlete. His efforts were always geared towards ‘student first, basketball player second.’ I miss him – he made me laugh every day.”

Last year, Victor Valley College was 4-21, but this year Johnson had the Rams off to an 11-5 start and state No. 20 ranking. Johnson leaves behind two young children.

  1. My sincere condolences to Coach Johnson’s family. I lost my Johnny on 8 Jan 18, and have nothing but heartfelt sympathy for the family. Coach Johnson did a wonderful job with the Victorville program, and the best was yet to come.