(born September 28
) in Fulham
is a British football
manager. He is currently the manager of Bristol City
He was formerly with Cambridge United
, Kettering Town
(as director of their youth academy) and Yeovil Town
. He has also managed the Latvian National Team
Johnson was manager at Newmarket Town F.C.
where he was persuaded to join Cambridge United
as Reserve Team manager in 1988. Appointed as Assistant Manager in 1990, Johnson helped John Beck
organise the U's remarkable rise in the early 1990s, in which they came within two matches of becoming the first club to rise from the old Fourth Division
to the top flight
in successive seasons. Johnson was briefly caretaker manager in late 1992 and then took charge from 1993 until 1995.
After being sacked by Cambridge, Johnson took over as manager of Kettering Town
, but was sacked in the 1996-97 season and moved to Watford, as director of their youth academy.
He was approached by the Latvian football authorities for help, and became coach of their national team for two years from 1999 to 2001.
Whilst coaching Latvia, he spotted the potential of Marian Pahars and recommended him to Southampton's manager Dave Jones, who invited Pahars for a trial before signing him in March 1999.
He resigned after a 1-1 draw with San Marino.
Returning to England, Johnson was appointed manager of Yeovil. In his first year in charge the Glovers won the FA Trophy
and finished third in the Football Conference
; the following year they won the greater prize of the Conference championship and promotion to the Football League
. Yeovil were immediately contenders in the League and were Division Three
champions at the second attempt.
Despite turning down an approach from Derby County
in the summer of 2005, Johnson became Bristol City's target when their manager Brian Tinnion
resigned that September. Yeovil agreed compensation terms and he became City's manager on 26 September 2005
. Despite a long losing streak through October and November, City's fortunes turned around under Johnson and a good run of form in the second half of the season saw them in play-off contention, eventually finishing ninth. Johnson won the League One Manager of the Month
award for April 2006. After an impressive 2006-07 season (including an 18 match unbeaten run), Johnson won the award again in March 2007 after successfully guiding his side to 16 points from seven games the previous month. This had set Bristol City in a good spot to contend for automatic promotion, which they sealed 5 May 2007
with a 3-1 home win over Rotherham
on the last day of the season.
On 6 September 2007 Gary Johnson and assistant Keith Millen both signed 2 and a half year contract extensions keeping them at the club until 2010.
Johnson is a popular interviewee for the media because if his ability to come up with good quotes and avoid the usual cliches many managers respond with. He is known as a great man-manager and motivator but with a sense of humour. He famously promised during an interview to bare his backside in Burtons window if Bristol City defender Liam Fontaine ever scored. Fontaine duly netted (possibly with more help than usual from his mischievous team mates though this is hard to prove) but Johnson avoided being window dressing by offering the player shots at his derriere whilst wearing boxer shorts with a target painted on them.
In the 2007-08 season he kept Bristol City in the top six of the Championship for almost the entire season and in the top two for a long time. The team were the surprise package of the season. Bristol City eventually lost the playoff final to Hull City at Wembley and were not promoted to the Premiership. Johnson made his players stay on the pitch after the match and watch the Hull City players celebrate as a motivational experience for the next campaign.
In the summer before the 2008/09 season he broke the club record for a transfer fee in signing 21-year old Nicky Maynard from Crewe Alexandra F.C. for £2.25 million. This was after attempts for Emad Meteb and Michael Mifsud broke down.
In September 2008 Johnson signed a new five-year contract with Bristol City, to keep him at the club until 2013.
As of 06:55, 5 November 2007 (UTC).
Gary has won 3 promotions and several impressive cup runs including 1 cup win, all in the last 5 years.