Lisa Saila Johnson, who won more than 300 games during a 19-year career as Elma High School’s girls basketball coach, has announced her retirement.
Johnson submitted her resignation letter at last month’s Elma School Board meeting.
She had long planned to time her coaching retirement with the graduation of her daughter Kayli, a four-year varsity guard whose senior year was curtailed by a knee injury.
“I’m ready for the next chapter,” she said Friday. “I am going to enjoy watching my daughter play basketball at the next level.”
A special agent for the Washington State Gambling Commission, Johnson did not rule out an eventual return to coaching.
“I have committed to take at least one year off,” she said. “But you never know, because basketball has been such a huge part of my life.”
A standout player at Elma prior to her 1992 graduation, Johnson assumed the head coaching duties at her alma mater in 2002. Noted for their uptempo offense and pressure defense, her teams captured district championships the past two seasons and made eight state appearances. Four of her teams earned state trophies.
Her career record was 301-152.
In the retirement letter to the school board, Johnson expressed appreciation to her family, former assistant coaches Bryan Schneider and the late Tracy Colard, ex-Elma athletic director Steve Bridge, longtime statistician Marilynn Curl and her players.
“I am really going to miss all the amazing athletes and the memories made,” she concluded.