Gophers coach Ben Johnson introduces new assistant Dave Thorson
New Gophers men’s basketball coach Ben Johnson added Dave Thorson, his coach at DeLaSalle, to his staff. Thorson joins the Gophers after a few years working on the Colorado State staff.
"When a started looking for guys to put on my staff, I wanted to bring in guys I had a previous relationship with and guys that operate and do things the right way," said Johnson.
***To watch Ben Johnson and assistant Dave Thorson meet the media, CLICK PLAY ABOVE***
Johnson has been busy completing his staff — Jason Kemp was also added as an assistant from William & Mary — and looking for players in the transfer portal.
"There are a lot of programs around the country that are going through changes rosters. It’s forever changing, so you’re just living on that portal and try to find guys that fit your roster, try to fit what you need in position and skill. But it’s continuous, which is fine. You know you have to grind it out and that’s what we’re about in this program," Johnson said.
Thorson spent 23 years as the coach at DeLaSalle High School where he created a basketball dynasty. Thorson led the Islanders to nine state championships – including six consecutive – and compiled an overall record of 527-130. Him and Johnson teamed to win two state titles.
"I remember when he came to DeLaSalle — Ben was only a seventh grader. We’ve had a tremendous relationship for a long time. I’m just so proud of him! He’s the right guy at the right time for the University of Minnesota with all of the values he represents, with all the tough stuff that’s going on right now, he’s the right leader for Minnesota," said Thorson.
Thorson’s lengthy resume also includes a few years in the early 90s as an assistant under then Gophers coach Clem Haskins.