WVU Sports Hall of Fame
Written by Bryan Messerly
Maj. David Johnson earned eight first team All-America honors in rifle from 1983-86.
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A native of Hampton, Virginia, Johnson became the second Mountaineer designated as a four-time first team All-American in smallbore and air rifle. Johnson was a national champion in smallbore as a freshman in 1983.
WVU’s most valuable shooter in 1983 and 1984 led WVU to three team NCAA titles and one runner-up finish during his career. WVU posted a 44-2 record during his career.
The two-time CoSIDA Second Team Academic All-American graduated from WVU in 1986 with a bachelor’s degree in finance. Following graduation, Johnson joined the United States Army Reserves and became a member of the United States Army Marksmanship Unit (USAMU).
During his career, Johnson competed for the United States at the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona. He captured one silver and five gold medals at the 1981 Championships of the Americas. He is a multiple Pan American Games and World Cup medalist and earned titles in various U.S. Olympic Festivals. Johnson was a resident athlete at the U.S. Olympic Training Center before beginning his coaching career.
In 2000, Johnson became the rifle coach at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, where he coached his team to three individual and two team NCAA titles. In 2002, Johnson moved back to Colorado Springs, Colorado, to become the National Rifle Team coach and saw two of his athletes win Olympic medals at the 2004 Olympic Games. He was the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Rifle coach before assuming the role of director of operations in 2012. His athletes medaled in World Championships and World Cups and won four Olympic medals (two gold, one silver and one bronze) from 2004-12.
Johnson has also served as head coach at the 2003, 2007 and 2011 Pan American Games and at the 2006 and 2010 World Championships. His athletes in 2010 won two team World Championships open class and one in junior class. Johnson was a Pan Am Team Leader in 2015.
Johnson will serve as the United States Olympic Shooting Team Leader for the Rio Olympic Games this August.
He is married to WVU Hall of Famer Ann-Marie (Pfiffner) Johnson. They competed together on the 1992 United States Olympic team. The couple resides in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and has one son, Zachary (11).