Last updated: February 18. 2013 3:08PM - 614 Views

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The Dallas High School basketball program has two new leaders this season.
Kelly Martin Johnson, of Trucksville, recently replaced former head girls basketball coach Mary Jo Hromchak, but she??s not new to coaching within the district.
Originally from Williamsport, Martin Johnson has been a Dallas coach for the last six years, and she has been able to move up the ranks with many players she has mentored during her tenure with the district.
She??s been coaching for a total of 11 years, with experience on the seventh and eighth-grade girls team, the freshman team and the junior varsity team.
??It??s very rewarding to see the kids get better over time,? she said.
The longtime coach has been in love with the game since she was a little girl when her father coached a church basketball league.
??Me and my two sisters were cheerleaders,? she laughed. ??We spent a lot of time in the gym and I developed a passion for the game.?
Martin Johnson continued her basketball career through middle and high school and played for Slippery Rock University after receiving a scholarship for her basketball prowess.
She emphasizes fundamental basketball skills in her coaching style and wants her players to understand the life lessons involved in basketball, too.
??It??s important to be in good physical shape, to develop teamwork and respect for other players and the game,? she said. ??Schedule coordination is important, too, with balancing academics and basketball.?
Martin Johnson??s favorite pastimes outside of basketball include even more basketball. She coaches a youth league with her husband, Mark Johnson, on which her twin daughters, Olivia and Hanna Johnson, play. Another daughter, Samantha Martin, graduated from Dallas last year and was a member of the girls basketball team. She now plays for Albright College. Martin Johnson also has a stepson, Matthew Johnson.
??We spend a lot of time in the gym,? said Martin Johnson. ??My family and I are together a lot.?
Doug Miller, of Exeter, will serve as head boys?? basketball coach after Ted Jackson Jr. resigned in November from the position he held for seven years.
Miller is a newcomer to the Dallas School District, but he??s coached girls?? teams at Wyoming Area, Pittston Area and Holy Redeemer for the last eight years.
He??s also the director of the Rock Recreation Center in Trucksville where he has coached various youth leagues, including some students who are now on the Dallas team.
??The first day of practice I had about 20 kid and I knew about 17 of them,? said Miller.
Miller grew up in Franklin County, near Lancaster, and graduated from Waynesboro Area High School where he finished his senior year on a team with a standing of 42-8.
Miller then worked for JC Penney for 15 years, eventually moving to Northeastern Pennsylvania. All the while he coached youth leagues, including those on which his three children played.
??It??s always been a goal of mine to be a varsity coach,? he said. ??This is an ideal spot within the Dallas School District because I??m familiar with the parents and players.?
Miller said his number one goal is to build the program and have students participate in the sport year round, whether it??s keeping in shape during the other sports seasons or playing in private leagues.
??I want players to be focused and interested in the game all year,? he said.
Like Martin Johnson, Miller plans to focus on fundamental skills and all the life lessons that apply on and off the court.
??Hard work applies to everything,? he said.
Miller wants to bring more community awareness to the Dallas boys varsity team and grow the program through community outreach.
??Our goal is to be contenders for the league championships,? he said.
When not playing or coaching basketball, Miller enjoys spending time with his wife, Natalie, going to the beach, mountain biking and staying involved with the Back Mountain Harvest Assembly Church.
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