Men's Basketball Hires James Johnson and Promotes Chris Caputo as Assistant Coaches

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Chris Caputo promoted to assistant coach
Chris Caputo promoted to assistant coach

June 3, 2005

Fairfax, Va (June 3, 2005)--George Mason's Head Coach Jim Larranaga has added James Johnson and promoted video coordinator Chris Caputo to assistant coaches on his basketball staff. They fill the two positions that were open when Bill Courtney left for the top assistant position at Providence College and Eric Konkol's departure to Minneapolis, Minnesota for personal reasons.

James Johnson, a Powhatan, Va., native brings 12 years of collegiate coaching experience to the Patriots. He recently completed his second season as a coach with the Penn State Nittany Lions. He was the recruitment coordinator for the Lions, responsible for bringing Geary Claxton to the team. Claxon earned Big Ten All-Freshman Team. Johnson also was responsible for the breakdown of tape in scouting opponents for game preparation.

Prior to Penn State, he had a one-year stint as an assistant at the College of Charleston. During his one year at the College of Charleston, Johnson helped guide the team to a 25-8 overall record and the Southern Conference regular season title. The 2002-03 C of C team also won the Great Alaska Shootout and advanced to the second round of the 2003 post-season NIT.

Other coaching tours included an assistant at Elon for two seasons. In 1995, Johnson moved on to Longwood College as an assistant and then spent one year at Hargrave Military Academy, where he worked with the post-graduate team. In 1997, he began a three-year run as an assistant at CAA foe Old Dominion. In 1998, Johnson helped guide ODU to a 25-9 overall mark and the second round of the NIT.

After graduating from Ferrum College with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology in 1993, he immediately stepped into the coaching ranks at his alma mater and served as an assistant for two seasons. Johnson helped guide the Panthers to a regular season conference title.

Johnson was a four-year player and a three-year starter at Ferrum College in Virginia. A three-time Defensive Player of the Year while at Ferrum, he helped guide his team to two conference championships and a berth in the NCAA Division III Tournament. He was also voted his team's Most Valuable Player in 1993. In 2001, Johnson was selected one of the Top 10 players in Ferrum Basketball History.

Johnson is a member of the Black Coaches Association and the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC). In March 2001, Johnson was named one of the Top 20 Assistant Coaches at Mid-Major Division I Schools by

Chris Caputo has spent four seasons with the George Mason men's basketball program as an administrative assistant and video coordinator. Caputo was responsible for creating scouting tapes for use by the coaching staff in preparing for practices and games. During the summer, Caputo served as assistant director of the Jim Larranaga Basketball Camp, as well as Co-Director of Jim Larranaga's Junior Patriots Program.

Caputo is a 2002 graduate of Westfield (Mass.) State College with a degree in finance and economics. He was a four-year letterwinner as a point guard for the NCAA Division III Owls, being named captain and winning the Outstanding Contributor Award as a senior.

A native of Elmhurst, N.Y., Caputo is a 1998 graduate of Archbishop Molloy High School, the same alma mater of Patriot head coach Jim Larranaga. Playing for the legendary Jack Curran, Caputo spent two years on the varsity team and saw 11 of his teammates (during his four years at Molloy) go on to play NCAA Division I basketball.



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