Before accepting the position at the Academy, Johnson was the interim chief executive officer at USA Shooting. Johnson joined USA Shooting in 2002 as the National Rifle Team Coach and spent 10 years in that role, helping the team earn five medals in three Olympic Games. He was named Director of Operations in late August 2012.
Johnson accepted the role of interim CEO following the retirement Robert Mitchell in 2016. During his time at USA Shooting, Johnson oversaw the seating of a new nine-person Board of Directors while also striving to fully engage the organization's many constituent groups including athletes, coaches, industry leaders, sponsors and donors. Johnson helped organize the Lones Wigger Legacy Project that honored one of the sport's greatest heroes and helped raise over $215,000 for the future of youth shooting sports.
Johnson brings a multitude of experience with him as he enters his first season with the Falcons. As a rifle athlete, Johnson was a multiple Pan American Games and World Cup medalist, as well as national champion. He was a member of the 1992 U.S. Olympic Team, finishing 11th in Air Rifle and 21st in Three-Position Rifle. He was head coach of University of Alaska Fairbanks from 2000 to 2002, leading the team to three individual and two NCAA titles.
Johnson replaces former assistant coach Mike Anti, who left in May to accept the head rifle coach position at the U.S. Naval Academy.
"I'm honored to be able to join the staff at the U.S. Air Force Academy and to be back in the NCAA arena" said Johnson. "The program, facilities, staff, and student-athletes are world-class. Being part of the mission of developing our future leaders for the US Air Force is a natural for me coming from my military experience. Coach Meili and the USAFA have built a great program and I look forward to getting on the range!"
"I could not be happier that we were able to convince Dave to come back into collegiate shooting," said Launi Meili, head rifle coach at Air Force. "He has more experience and knowledge of the sport than any coach in the U.S. He was not only successful as an athlete in NCAA and International competition, but as a coach, his athletes have produced more medals and titles than any other in more than 40 years. We are lucky to get him, and I'm ready to put him to work to help our shooters continue to perform well on the national and international stage!"