Lawrence Johnson is in his fourth season as a member of the Gamecocks' coaching staff with primary responsibilities that include coaching the pole-vaulters and coordinating recruiting efforts. Johnson came to South Carolina as one of the most decorated pole-vaulters in American history, having competed professionally from 1996 to 2004 as a representative of the United States, adidas and Oakley.
In three years at South Carolina, Johnson has coached his athletes to two SEC titles, three All-America honors, 15 NCAA qualifiers, an NCAA East Region silver medalist, an SEC Championship silver medalist and three SEC Championship bronze medalists.
Johnson's transformation of the pole vault program continued to yield results in 2010 with two SEC champions and two All-America honors. Elliott Haynie became the first double-crown winner in Gamecock history with the indoor and outdoor titles. Johnson's men's pole vaulters earned a record 21 points at the SEC Indoor Championships with a 1-3-3 finish. On the women's side, Vica Shobe set the new school record and earned All-America honors to give the Gamecocks four NCAA qualifiers and two All-Americans on the year.
In his second season at South Carolina in 2009, Johnson coached his men's and women's pole vaulters to seven NCAA Regional bids and a program-best three NCAA Outdoor Championship bids. His vaulters earned two medals at the SEC Championships, and freshman Marvin Reitze became the first Gamecock to earn All-America honors in seven seasons after claiming fourth at outdoor nationals. Haynie finished the season ranked No. 5 in the nation with a school-record jump of 17-10 1/2, and Reitze was the NCAA East Region silver medalist.
A two-time Olympian, Johnson's strongest year came in 2001 when he brought home a gold medal at the IAAF World Indoor Championships in Portugal at 5.95m (19-6.25). The same year he also took first place at the U.S. Indoor and Outdoor Championships. He ended the year ranked second in the United States and fourth in the world, his highest spot in both rankings.
In 2000, Johnson earned the silver medal with a clearance of 5.90m (19-4.25) at the Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia. He also placed first at the U.S. Trials and the U.S. Indoor Championships. In 1997, Johnson earned his first U.S. championships, taking gold at both the indoor and outdoor championships in addition to being a silver medalist at the World Indoor Championships in his first full year as a professional. Turning professional after a stellar collegiate career at the University of Tennessee, Johnson finished eighth at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, Ga., after taking first at the U.S. Olympic trials. Earlier that same year, Johnson set an American and NCAA record at 5.98m (19-7.50) at Tom Black Track in Knoxville on May 25, 1996. He went on to become the 1996 SEC Indoor and Outdoor champion, the SEC and NCAA record holder, an NCAA All-American and Athlete of the Year as well as NCAA outdoor champion.
Throughout his career, Johnson is a seven-time U.S. national champion, four-time NCAA champion, six-time conference champion, six-time All-American and seven-time All-SEC selection. He was a three-time SEC All-Academic team member and a Student Athlete Advisory Committee member.
Johnson holds a bachelor's degree in sport management from the University of Tennessee. He has a wife, Christina, and five children.