Reports: James Johnson leaving Miami basketball for N.C. State

Virginia Tech fired James Johnson after two seasons, ending with a loss to Miami. (Getty Images)

James Johnson during his days as Virginia Tech’s coach. (Getty Images)

[Projecting the 2017-18 Canes hoops lineup]

James Johnson is reportedly back in the ACC as an assistant coach.

Johnson, the former Virginia Tech head coach who was Miami’s director of basketball operations the last two years, will leave for North Carolina State, according to the Raleigh News & Observer and other reports.

UM did immediately not confirm the departure of Johnson, who wants to be a full-time coach, but once source characterized it as “possible.”

New Wolfpack coach Kevin Keatts, who played with Johnson at Ferrum, reportedly hired Johnson as an assistant.

Johnson, 45, was on Jim Larranaga’s George Mason staff from 2004-06 and left the Patriots after their Final Four run 2006. He was an assistant for five years at Virginia Tech and before being promoted to head coach.

His run in Blacksburg was short-lived. Johnson went 22-41 in two seasons — 6-32 against league opponents — before he was fired. His last game as a head coach was March 12, 2014 in the first round of the ACC tournament. Miami beat the Hokies 57-53.

Miami’s staff of assistants — Chris Caputo, Jamal Brunt and Adam Fisher — remains intact. However, don’t be surprised if Keatts’ old school, UNC-Wilmington, calls Caputo about its vacant position. Caputo was a finalist in 2014, when Keatts was hired.

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