Watkins garnered second team All-America honors on beam
This marks the first time in program history two individuals will compete together at the national championship
Both will advance as all-arounders to the national level
The Wolfpack is one of six teams to compete at Oklahoma
This will be the second time the two teams have met in the 2015 season
Colleen Johnson enters her 10th season as a member of the NC State gymnastics coaching staff and her first as an associate head coach. Johnson is in the fifth season of her second stint with the team.
Johnson is primarily responsible for coaching the squad on the balance beam, as well as choreography on the floor exercise. Johnson also plays a vital role in the Wolfpack recruiting efforts. In addition, she assists with the program's budget and the administrative duties of the squad, including overseeing the marketing and public relations aspects and initiating community service efforts.
In 2014, Johnson guided the Wolfpack to 48.955 Regional Qualifying Score on the balance beam, which ranked 23rd in the country. The Pack recorded a season-best score of 49.350 on the balance beam in a tri-meet against then-No. 8 Michigan, Towson and UNC-Chapel Hill, which ranks seventh all-time. Throughout the 2014 season, the squad posted 33 scores of 9.800 or higher on the balance beam, including a season best 9.925 from Hannah Fallanca against UNC-Chapel Hill.
The 2013 campaign saw State finish the season 26th in the final Troester.com poll of the season with an 11-9-1 overall record and secure a postseason berth for the 11th consecutive season. The Pack captured its fifth EAGL Championship in school history and first since 2009. Under Johnson's tutelage, State has placed one gymnast on the All-EAGL First Team on beam, and two gymnasts on the All-EAGL Second Team. The Wolfpack posted a season-best 49.150 on the balance beam at New Hampshire and were led by Hannah Falanca on the beam with a season-best total of 9.950 at the Sweetheart Invitational. Overall, the team posted 26 scores of 9.8 or better.
In 2012, Johnson was named the NCAA Southeast Region Assistant Coach of the Year for the second time in her career with the Wolfpack. Under her guidance the Pack made drastic improvements on beam, landing two gymnasts on the All-EAGL First Team, three on the All-EAGL Second Team, and two on the EAGL First Team All-Tournament. Under Johnson, the Pack posted 29 scores of 9.8 or better, and notched a team-high of 49.275 on beam at the Sweetheart Invitational, a score bolstered by Panza's 9.9 on the event.
Johnson spent six seasons as an assistant coach at Arizona from 2005-10, prior to her return to NC State. Under Johnson's guidance, three members of Arizona's 2007 team advanced to the NCAA Championships, including two members of the squad in the all-around, as well as a beam specialist. , Johnson was named South Central Region Assistant Coach of the Year while at Arizona. In addition, the Wildcats posted three of the top-four scores in program history on the balance beam in her time there. Johnson was also influential in spearheading the community service efforts for team to win the Director's Cup for Community Service each year with the Wildcats.
While at Arizona, Johnson was responsible for choreographing the floor exercise routines while coaching primarily the balance beam and assisting with all practice activities. Aside from coaching and choreography, Johnson was heavily involved in the marketing and promotions of the program, administrative duties, the team attire (leotards, warm-ups, public appearance attire, etc), and producing every piece of custom music for the team's floor routines.
During her previous time at NC State as an assistant coach (1999-2004), Johnson was named the 2003 Southeast Region Assistant Coach of the Year. During her five seasons, Johnson coached balance beam and choreography for floor.
In her first season with the Pack in 2000, Johnson's beam team broke the school's beam record by earning a 49.525 at the Wolfpack Invitational, and won the EAGL title in the event. In 2002, Johnson guided NC State to another EAGL championship with an impressive 49.225 on beam. Eventually, Johnson's squad would match the beam record of 49.525 in 2004 against George Washington.
Prior to her first stint with NC State, Johnson served as coach and choreographer at various gymnastics clubs in Florida, Atlanta, and Vancouver. From 1995-96, she was the University of Florida's student coach, working primarily with the beam and floor routines.
As a gymnast, Johnson has collected many different accolades. She was a member of the Canadian National Gymnastics team from 1988 to 1991, including being a part of the bronze medal winning team at the 1991 Pan American games in Cuba.
Johnson resides in Raleigh with former Wolfpack All-American Mike Lombardo (wrestling) and are the proud parents of one daughter, Gianna.