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2022 Larry Smith Award Winner
Dr. Ronn Johnson


Dr. Ronn Johnson accepts the fourth annual Larry Smith Award at the 2022 SCB Hall of Fame ceremony

Kansas City, Mo. – Small College Basketball is proud to announce Dr. Ronn Johnson as the 2022 Larry Smith Award winner. Dr. Johnson not only made a difference on the court for Biola University, but he has been making a difference ever since he graduated in his academic teachings and publications. This year’s award will be presented on Friday November 4th at the Polk Theatre in Lakeland, FL. The ceremony begins at 7:30 pm EST. Larry Smith had this to say about Johnson being named this year’s recipient:

"I'm really pleased that Dr. Ronn Johnson is the Winner of the Larry Smith Award,” stated Smith. “His personal story is incredible, and he's made such a meaningful impact on the lives of so many. He fits the purpose of this award, and I'm really excited to present the 2022 Larry Smith Award to him."

The Larry Smith Award is presented annually to a former Small College Basketball player who has used the game of basketball to learn and apply life lessons that have significantly enhance their life and then given back to impact the lives of others and change the world for good. Dr. Ronn Johnson had this to say about being named the 2022 Larry Smith Award winner:

“I am an imperfect vessel that God continues to use to fulfill His purposes,” mentioned Johnson. “My life mission is to share and show Jesus Christ in all that I do. I am grateful to my mother Dellia Johnson who taught me to have a dream and then work hard to achieve it. I am thankful for this award because it functions as a marker for how all things can be accomplished through the strength that Christ provides.”


Johnson grew up one of 10 siblings on the west side of Chicago. He received a scholarship to Biola University. Johnson was a standout player for the Eagles, finishing his career as a three-time NAIA All – American (1970-71, 71-72, 72-73). He was inducted into the Biola Hall of Fame in 2014 and was only one of two men’s basketball players inducted. Johnson holds the record for total rebounds for a career (1,460) and rebounds per game (12.8). Furthermore, at the time of his induction, Johnson had three of Biola’s top-10 single-season rebound totals, top five in career points and top 10 in career field goals and career free throws. Dr. Jim Poteet recruited Johnson to Biola, he had this to say about Johnson winning this year’s award:

“The Larry Smith award aptly captures the accomplishments of Ronn Johnson,” stated Poteet. “The opportunity to play small college basketball and be successful gave Ronn the drive and the confidence to eventually have major success in the classroom. Never have I been more proud of one of my players than the day I was told Ronn Johnson was the winner of the Larry Smith award.”

After graduating from Biola University in 1973, Johnson went on to earn Master’s degrees from Southern Nazarene University, the University of Central Oklahoma and Chapman University, before earning a PhD in Psychology from Oklahoma State University. Dr. Dave Holmquist, longtime Head Coach at Biola University and former teammate of Johnson, had to this to say about Johnson being named the Larry Smith award winner:

“Ronn and I played our junior and senior years together at Biola which allowed me to fully experience what a tremendous player and teammate he was,” mentioned Holmquist. “I still remember when he scored 18 consecutive points in a close win over a very good Grand Canyon team on the road. Ronn had many great games during those two years but always remained a loyal and humble friend to everyone on the team.  His great success in life has been no surprise to anyone knew him during that time.  Biola University and our basketball program are very proud of Ronn and thrilled that he has been awarded such a meaningful honor.”

Johnson has been a full Professor at the Creighton University School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry since 2016. In April 2022, Johnson was named a Senior Associate Dean of Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging. In additional to his work at Creighton, Johnson also treats veterans at the Omaha VA Medical Center. Previously, Johnson has served as an Assistant Professor at the University of Central Oklahoma, Assistant Professor at the University of Nebraska, and an Associate Professor at San Diego State University. He was also an adjunct professor in the Homeland Security Department at San Diego State. In this role, Johnson researched anti-terrorism and forensic psychology.

Throughout his career, Johnson has been a member of 12 professional associations and memberships. Also, Johnson has served on 25 editorial boards.


Throughout his glorious career, Johnson has completed 52 referred publications, to go along with 85 referred published conference proceedings/abstracts.

Johnson is the fourth recipient of the Larry Smith award. The inaugural award in 2017 was given to George Tinsley Sr. In 2018, Charlie Titus was selected as the Larry Smith award recipient, followed by Cylk Cozart in 2019.

For more information on the Larry Smith award or Small College Basketball, please head to


Dr. Ronn Johnson accepts the fourth annual Larry Smith Award at the 2022 SCB Hall of Fame ceremony

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