COLORADO SPRINGS, COLORADO - The NWBA High Performance Committee is excited to announce that Robb Taylor will serve in the role of head coach for the 2022 U.S. Men’s National Wheelchair Basketball Team; Trooper Johnson will return to the sidelines to serve in the role of head coach for the 2022 U.S. Women’s National Wheelchair Basketball Team.
Taylor has been a part of the U.S. Men’s National Wheelchair Basketball Team for the last nine years as an assistant coach. With Taylor as a member of the staff, the 2016 and 2020 U.S. Men’s Paralympic Team was able to deliver back-to-back gold medals. He now has been selected to this leadership role to begin shaping the next wave of U.S.A Wheelchair Basketball talent on the Road to Paris.
Johnson, an assistant coach on the gold medal U.S. Women’s National Wheelchair Basketball Team at the 2016 Rio Paralympics, was a first time Paralympic head coach at the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics. He and his staff lead nine first time Paralympians to a podium finish, earning a bronze medal in exciting fashion. Coach Johnson will work to develop this young pool as they look ahead to Paris in 2024.
“The NWBA High-Performance Committee is pleased to announce Coach Taylor and Coach Johnson will be leading the Men’s and Women’s Teams as we begin this important transition towards Paris 2024,” said Jim Glatch, Chair of NWBA High Performance. “They each distinguished themselves in the selection process among a highly qualified pool of applicants. We look forward to working with both coaches as they identify their staffs and athletes for 2022.”
Coach Robb Taylor has been coaching in wheelchair basketball for over 20 years and has coached many different levels within the NWBA. He is currently the head coach for the Auburn University wheelchair basketball team within the NWBA’s Intercollegiate Division. Taylor originally started as the assistant coach at the University of Illinois-Champaign, working with both the men and women’s teams.
Taylor helped guide the Illinois Women’s Team to NWBA Women’s Division Championships in 2003, 2004, and 2006. Following his graduation, he coached the Phoenix Mercury in the Women’s Division of the NWBA. After Phoenix, Coach Taylor moved to Chicago to become head coach of the Windy City Warriors where they won back-to-back Illinois High School Association State Championships.
Taylor is the first coach in program history at Auburn University and has grown and developed their adapted sports program. He started coaching at Auburn in 2016. This past season Coach Taylor’s team finished in third place in the NWBA Intercollegiate Division.
Taylor’s international coaching started in 2002 helping with the U.S. Women’s National Team and helping with the team through 2004. In 2005, Coach Taylor was officially named an assistant coach for the U.S. Women’s National Wheelchair Basketball Team. Coach Taylor helped them win gold in the 2005 America’s Cup, silver at World Championships in 2006, and gold at the Parapan American Games in 2007. Taylor was part of the U.S. Women’s staff that won gold during the 2008 Summer Paralympic Games in Beijing, China.
Taylor has been an assistant coach with the U.S. Men’s Wheelchair Basketball National Team since 2013. During that time his teams have won six gold medals and two silver medals including a gold medal the at the Summer Paralympic Games in Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020.
Taylor received his Bachelor of Science Degree in Recreation, Sports and Tourism from University of Illinois-Champaign and his Master’s in Education with a focus on Counseling and Psychology from University of Missouri. He resides in Auburn, AL with his wife Sara and two sons, Jeremy and Jaxson.
Coach Lawrence “Trooper” Johnson has been in the sport of wheelchair basketball longer than most. Having first been a player, U.S. Paralympian, and now coach, Trooper’s list of accomplishments is longer than most. In 2016, Johnson was inducted into the NWBA Hall of Fame for his numerous achievements and is considered the best long-range shooter in NWBA history.
From all-star player to all-star coach, Johnson went on to be the assistant coach for the 2013 U.S.A. Men’s Junior National Team. Then he quickly took on the head coaching role for the U.S. Women’s Junior National Team in 2013, which went on to win gold in the 2013 Youth Parapan American Games under his supervision. In 2015 he was the assistant coach for the U.S. Women’s National team that won gold in Toronto at the ParaPan American Games and another gold at the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games. He was named the head coach of the U.S. Women’s National Team in 2017. Additionally while serving as head coach Johnson has led the U.S. Women’s National Team to two silver medals at the 2017 America’s Cup and 2019 Parapan American Games. Johnson also led the U.S. Women’s Under 25 National Team to a gold medal at the 2019 IWBF Women’s U25 Wheelchair Basketball World Championships.
As an athlete, Johnson is the only U.S. wheelchair basketball player to compete on 15 U.S. National Teams (1990-2004), and is widely acknowledged as one of the most prolific three-point shooters in NWBA history. His shooting accuracy led Team USA to the top of the medal platform for a total of nine gold medals and a silver medal. He also has two bronze medals as an athlete at the 1996 and 2000 Paralympic Games, and was a member of the 1992 and 2004 U.S. Men’s Paralympic teams.
He is also the Youth Sports Program Coordinator for Bay Area Outreach and Recreational Programs and a member of the National Advisory Board for Positive Coaching Alliance with a mission to empower young people through sports. He also serves on the Board of Directors for the Northern California Olympians & Paralympians.
With so much experience, Johnson shares his story and gives presentations across the country. His presentations are interactive and challenge students to truly understand people in wheelchairs and their unique abilities. He also tries to break down stereotypes as well as offer discussion in relation to drug and alcohol prevention.
Johnson is the iconic symbol in the NWBA logo. He and his wife, Megan, have a son Max, and triplets, Hank, Sam, and Sophia. They all reside in San Lorenzo, California.