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Former Virginia Tech head coach James Johnson expected to join Kevin Keatts’ staff at NC State

Keatts is reuniting with a former teammate of his.

ACC Basketball Tournament - First Round Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Kevin Keatts’ first assistant coaching hire will be James Johnson, per Joe Giglio at the N&O. Johnson spent the last two years as Miami’s director of basketball operations and prior to that spent two unsuccessful seasons as Virginia Tech’s head coach.

Keatts and Johnson were teammates at Ferrum College

It’s unclear what role Johnson will be tasked with in Raleigh, but getting a guy with high-major head coaching experience is a bonus. He also spent several years as an assistant for Seth Greenberg while he was at VT.

He was given a pretty difficult task in rebuilding the Hokies program following Greenberg’s departure and his team slumped to 2-16 in the ACC in his final season. (Never helps when a new AD comes on board, either—Whit Babcock had been on the job only a month when he fired Johnson.)

He should be a solid recruiter for the Wolfpack and helped bring the likes of Montrezl Harrell and Dorian Finney-Smith to Blacksburg, though both quickly left when Greenberg was fired.