FAYETTEVILLE, AR. (KNWA/KFTA) – it’s been two years since Lance Harter announced his retirement and his head coach-in-waiting Chris Johnson.

But, Chris’s moment is finally here; as of July first, he’ll officially have the keys to the castle, and Lance will be officially enjoying retirement.

“Obviously, you’re responsible. The buck stops with me now, and. And I can’t push it over to Lance when it’s convenient. So now I think that would be the biggest thing that you know. Now it’s on me, and I think that I’m prepared to do that,” said Johnson.

I think the women’s track and field athletes would tell you the same thing. Johnson has been a vital part of the program since jumping on board 12 seasons ago.  

Racking up 7 regional and 3 national assistant coach of the year award in his time on the Hill.  

“My husband has been behind the scenes, really just producing national champions and producing world record holders is producing American record holders world leads. Bowerman finalist. I mean, the list goes on. So I think he’s done so much as an assistant coach. I think nothing’s really going to change besides him having a head coach next to his name,” said Gigi Johnson.

Johnson, Razorback legacy and volunteer coach, with no doubt in her mind that her husband will be able to succeed in his new role, and ready to watch as he lives out his dream with her favorite program.

“When you have a dream to be in head coach and to be at a university in a par five conference in the SEC and to be able to become a head coach, I mean, who wouldn’t be excited about that? It’s a dream job. It’s at the University of Arkansas,” said Johnson.

When it comes to his plan for the 2023-2024 season.

“It’s hard to be someone else, you know, trust your instincts, you know, work at your goals and just continue to be steadfast in your beliefs. And great things will happen,” said Johnson.