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Johnson Named Menace Head Coach

By Des Moines Menace, 02/01/22, 10:45AM CST


Des Moines, Iowa – February 1, 2022 – The Des Moines Menace new head coach brings USL League Two playing and coaching experience to the club.

Johnson becomes the 12th head coach in Menace history and will lead the team into the franchises 28th season. Menace Co-GM Charlie Bales today announced the London, England native has signed a two-year agreement with the club.

“I’m very excited to work with Dean.  I have no doubt that his winning mentality and extensive recruiting network combined with the Menace platform will lead to success.”

The Menace looks to continue its streak of seven straight postseason berths. Des Moines has made 18 appearances in the playoffs, including last season’s regular and post season National Championships. The 2022 season will begin in late March with the franchise’s 14th appearance in the U.S. Open Cup.

Johnson replaces Mark McKeever, who accepted an opportunity to lead USL League One expansion side One Knoxville SC after two seasons with the Menace.

“I am thrilled to be joining the Menace and look forward to working with such an established organization within the USL. The traditions and core values of the club fit well with those of my own and I’m excited to see the success we can have together!"

Dean Johnson is currently in his second season at Davis & Elkins (Division II) and serves as the Director of Soccer. During the fall 2021 season he was named the Men’s Mountain East Conference Coach of the Year, coached the MEC Offensive and Defensive Players of the Year, and directed the team to a number two NCAA Division II national ranking.

Guiding the D&E men's program to a strong 7-2 mark in the spring of 2021, Johnson coached eight all-conference selections, which included three First Team honorees. Davis & Elkins cracked the top 10 in the US Soccer Coaches Poll during the abbreviated regular season, marking one of the highest rankings for the program as members of the NCAA.

Johnson arrived in Elkins following a stint as the head men's and women's soccer coach at Northeast Texas Community College, where he guided the squad to a combined 46-16-3 (.717) mark in three seasons. He handled all aspects of both programs, where he orchestrated nearly a 10-win turnaround on the men's side from 2017 to 2018, which included the program's second National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Tournament appearance in school history.

Johnson overhauled the Northeast Texas program upon his arrival, bringing in 68 new players in three classes from across the world, 23 of which went on to become All-Region and All-American selections. He aided the women's team to just its second 10-win season in school history, while pushing the men's squad to 19 shutout victories in 2018-19.

Johnson spent two seasons as an assistant men's soccer coach at Wayland Baptist (Texas) from 2016-18, where he coached the program to the 2017 NAIA National Championship, the first for the school in soccer. The staff earned the United Soccer Coaches National and Regional Staff of the Year in 2017, part of an impressive two-year run which saw a pair of regular season and conference tournament championships in 2016-17.

He coached at Northwest College in Wyoming from 2014-15, working primarily with the goalkeepers after transitioning as a player at the institution. Johnson boasts an impressive resume of international recruiting success, brining players from 13 different states and 24 different countries to his programs.

Beginning his soccer career at a young age, Johnson played on the youth team of the prestigious Tottenham Hotspur Football Club from 2001-06, before continuing his youth career with Dagenham & Redbridge Football Club, where he was mentored by Jimmy Gilligan, the head scout for the English national team.

Additionally, he has coaching experience with Southern West Virginia King's Warriors (2014-15), Soccer Diamond USA in London (2014-15) and the West Virginia Chaos (2017-18).

Johnson transitioned to the college game in 2010, playing two years at Northwest College. As a team captain, Johnson fired home 20 goals and added 30 career assists, helping to lead the team to its only national tournament appearance in 2013.

Johnson spent one year as a team captain at the University of Pikeville in 2013, notching team-highs in assists (16) and points (34), while finishing second on the squad with nine goals. He set the NAIA record for points in a game (18) following a six goal and six assist effort against Johnson University in August 2013. Johnson spent his senior season at Bluefield College in 2014, again captaining the team and leading them to the NCCAA national tournament scoring 10 goals and a team high 10 assists setting a program record.

He graduated with an associates degree from Northwest in 2012 before earning a bachelor's in sport management from Bluefield College in 2015. Johnson recently completed his masters of education from Wayland Baptist in 2018. 

Please join us in welcoming Dean to Des Moines!