New Gophers men’s basketball coach Ben Johnson named two assistants coaches to his staff on Friday. Dave Thorson and Jason Kemp will join Johnson pending Board of Regents approval.

“These are two exceptional coaches who have strong connections to Minnesota, the Midwest and unique pockets throughout the country,” Johnson said in a statement. “They are outstanding men who care deeply about student-athlete success on and off the court, and they will be tremendous ambassadors for our program, department and University. They believe in our vision — one that is built upon toughness, grit, pride and love of competition — and I look forward to building this program with them.”

Johnson still has vacancies on his staff, and Pioneer Press sources have linked Texas A&M assistant Jamie McNeilly to potentially fill an opening.

Thorson was Johnson’s high school coach at DeLaSalle in the late 1990s. Thorson won a record nine state championships at the Minneapolis school in his 23 years. Thorson was an assistant coach under Clem Haskins from 1990-94, and after DeLaSalle, he was an assistant under Minnesota native Niko Medved at Drake and the past three years at Colorado State.

Kemp, a Madison, Wis., native, was an assistant at William & Mary for the past two seasons after previous stops at Ohio, Toledo, North Dakota State. He started his 15-year coaching career at Minnesota State Moorhead in 2004.