By Tyler Hetu – 1851 Staff
It’s not often that graduates of a college return back to their alma mater to work, but Chris Johnson seams to have made a seamless transition.
A cross country runner during his days as a Laser, Johnson graduated in 2010, with a degree in Sports Science after deciding to pick up the fifth year graduate school option. “I walked on Sunday and started my Grad courses next Monday. I completed that in a year,” Johnson said.
While in graduate school to pursue a Master’s degree in Management, he was offered a position to work as an assistant to Lasell’s cross country and track coach. Soon after, he was offered the chance to work as the head strength and conditioning coordinator for Lasell for three years and then decided to become a personal trainer.
After working as a personal trainer and coach for some time, he decided it was time to take his career to the next step. After leaving Lasell to work on his own, he returned as a teaching assistant. This was the beginning of his plan to become a professor.
“While I was doing that I wanted to take the next step in my plan, and that was getting my doctorate. I am almost done with that so I can be a professor.” Johnson is studying at United States Sports Academy for a doctorate in education. With his extensive background in coaching throughout high school and college, he believes it correlates. “To me there’s not a significant difference between coaching and teaching. It’s the same thing but with a different atmosphere.”
His passion for pushing people forward has been both on the field as a coach and in the classroom, citing that he knew he wanted to teach but that it had to be at the college level. “I always enjoyed helping people reach that next level,” said Johnson. “Whether it was fitness or school, it was just a shift that made sense to me.”
He also brings his experience from the National Guard and Officer Candidate School into his classroom, saying that his classes have excellent participation and attendance. “I use some of the things I learned, I use the same methods in Officer Candidate school that I did not have here and students are responding very well.”
On behalf of his involvement in the military and National Guard, Johnson marched the Boston Marathon this year in full uniform.
On why he decided to come back to his alma mater, it was all about giving back. “Lasell has always taken good care of me. Starting from freshman year until now. I am a firm believer in if somebody takes good care of you, you take good care of them. They have taken very good care of me in the past.”
Johnson is currently teaching sports management courses to undergrad, graduate, and online classes. His ultimate goal is a full-time position as a professor.