WICHITA FALLS, Texas (TNN) - It was April of 2019 when Midwestern State women’s basketball coach Noel Johnson was diagnosed with Stage IV ovarian cancer.
More than a year later, her fight has come to an end as she passed away Tuesday morning at the age of 47.
Johnson was in her 12th year as the head coach of the Mustangs and is the all-time winningest head coach in program history with 159 wins.
She led MSU to three NCAA Division II regional tournament appearances, earned Texas Association of Basketball Coaches’ Texas Small College Coach of the Year in 2013 and was named Lone Star Conference Coach of the Year in 2012.
She was a national champion in 1993 at Texas Tech as a player, she was named to the Texas Tech Hall of Honor in 2005, the Texas High School Basketball Hall of Fame in 2018 and the Southwest Conference Hall of Fame in 2019.
During an interview in May of 2019, Johnson said “All those hard practices, all that adversity, everything that us as a female student-athletes (goes through) it has prepared us to do this. It has prepared us to hit these bumps in the road, to be mothers and to be leaders."
That was the message she always preached, a work ethic and leadership that wouldn’t be denied.