Brandon Johnson

From Openwaterpedia

Brandon Johnson, Ph.D. (born 1981) is a USA Swimming coach for Palo Alto Stanford Aquatics (PASA) and a USA Swimming pool and open water swimmer for Scott Shea of Palo Alto Stanford Aquatics (PASA). He found his love for open water swimming as a high school student competing at the USA Swimming National Open Water Swimming Championships with coach Pierre Lafontaine. Since then, he has completed numerous open water competitions (non-wetsuit):

Open Water Swimming Career

Coaching Career


Johnson was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico and grew up in Phoenix, Arizona. He began swimming year-round as a 13-year-old at the Phoenix Swim Club (PSC) started by Gary Hall Sr.. He grew up swimming with Olympians such as Gary Hall Jr., Klete Keller, and Kalyn Keller. He attended Brophy College Preparatory for high school and swam for the state champion Broncos during all four years. During this time, he continued to swim for PSC under Roric Fink, Pierre Lafontaine, and Bill Smythe.

He attended Lake Forest College in Lake Forest, IL where he swam and ran cross-country all four years. He was co-captain for the Foresters swim team during his senior year. He double majored in Biology and Chemistry and graduated magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa. He went on to Stanford University where he graduated with a Ph.D. in Molecular and Cellular Physiology in 2010.

Foundation for Aquatic Safety and Training (FAST)

He and childhood friend, Joe Zemaitis (head coach/founder of Swim Neptune), were support swimmers for 7 year old Braxton Bilbrey's Alcatraz Island crossing. Braxton still holds the record as the youngest swimmer to make the crossing. The crossing inspired Joe to the create The Foundation for Aquatic Safety and Training (FAST), a non-profit which helps raise funds for water safety and drowning prevention programs in Arizona and the San Francisco Bay Area.

He has a passion for the open water and as a coach for FAST, he is able to instill the love of open water in children and help them conquer The Rock.

Other Sports

He is an all around waterman; he enjoys surfing, freediving, spearfishing, abalone diving, and paddleboarding.


He is married with four sons. He owns a tutoring company, Cognitive Advantage, which works with students from elementary through professional level in academic and test preparation tutoring. He is also adjunct professor of mathematics at Menlo College in Atherton, California.

External links