PRINCETON -- After four years spent building the Princeton men's basketball program toward the Ivy League championship and NCAA Tournament bid achieved this March, Sydney Johnson has accepted the head coaching position at Fairfield University.
"We learned this afternoon that Sydney was going to take the job at Fairfield," Princeton Director of Athletics Gary Walters said. "We want to thank Sydney for his significant contributions at Princeton as the head coach of our basketball team. Obviously we're disappointed that he is not staying to carry on the tradition of Princeton basketball. But as a Princeton basketball alumnus, we wish him well as he takes another career step."
Johnson took over the men's basketball team for the 2007-08 season and passed the 20-win mark by his third season at the helm. In 2010, Princeton finished 22-9 overall, a second-place 11-3 in the Ivy League and advanced to the College Basketball Invitational semifinals. This season, Princeton improved to 25-7 and 12-2 in the Ivy League, winning an Ivy League playoff game to earn the NCAA Tournament bid. Once in the tournament, Princeton took eventual Final Four team Kentucky to the final seconds before falling 59-57.
Johnson, a 1997 Princeton graduate, was the third consecutive alumnus to serve as the team's head coach. He was the 1997 Ivy League Player of the Year before embarking on a seven-season professional career in Europe. In 2004, Johnson returned to serve as an assistant coach to John Thompson III '88 at Georgetown for three seasons before being named Princeton's head coach four years ago. He finished his Princeton tenure with a record of 66-53.
"Princeton will immediately engage in conducting a national search for Sydney's successor," Walters said. "I am confident that we will be able to attract a coach who is worthy of this great university and of our great basketball program."