Driving with Jayhawks: David Johanning

Posted on Mar 23, 2019 in Alumni News, News, and Sports

We hit the road again for our next installment of “Driving with Jayhawks” with David Johanning.

Johanning, f’94, played basketball for the University of Kansas from 1992-94. He is currently the managing partner of The Sandbar, a popular bar in downtown Lawrence.

Johanning talks about what it’s really like to own a bar and his path to KU. Find out more about the game he’ll never forget being a part of. And, he shares some memories about playing for basketball coach Roy Williams.


Thanks to our postseason partner, Crown Automotive, for allowing us to use the Jayhawk car for this series. Click here to watch more “Driving with Jayhawks” videos.

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A Story About KU vs. K-State, or How Dave Got A Scar On His Forehead

Posted on Feb 24, 2015 in Alumni News, News, and Sports

David Johanning, f’94, was a member of KU’s basketball team from 1990-92, although these days he is arguably more recognizable as the managing partner and longtime bartender at The Sandbar, a downtown Lawrence dive bar popular with college students and KU alumni. Unfortunately, Dave’s famous face was bloodied one year when the Jayhawks played in Manhattan. After last night’s loss and controversial court-storming by fans in Manhattan, he agreed to share his tale, originally posted on the Sandbar’s website, with KU alumni. Dave is also married to Debbi Johanning, digital media content manager for the KU Alumni Association. If you have a favorite Manhattan memory, you can share it with us at share@kualumni.org. –David Johnston

The Sunflower Showdown is always a heated rivalry, and Dave’s playing days more than twenty years ago were no exception. One year, however, Dave came home with more than a win.

David Johanning after KU vs. Kansas State game | www.kualumni.org“I can’t remember if it was ’91 or ’92, but I think it was my junior year. We won the game, and afterwards the students started throwing crap at the court. I got hit on the forehead with something—to this day, I don’t know what it was. Maybe a quarter, a piece of ice…who knows.

Anyway, my forehead had a bleeding gash on it, and Coach Williams actually told the trainer not to fix it up right away. He wanted the media and everyone else to see the blood on my face so they wouldn’t minimize the whole incident.

Of course the trainer fixed it before too long, but at least there were a few pictures of it, to prove I really did get hit. There’s still a small scar on my forehead from it.

I think someone else, maybe Rex Walters, got hit with something the next year.”

This picture of Dave with his young cousin, who grew up in Manhattan and later attended Kansas State, was taken shortly after the game.

Read the original post on The Sandbar’s website.

Read more coverage about last night’s game and controversial court-storming:

CBS Sports: Post-game court-storming after Kansas State-Kansas game out of hand 
ESPN: Chaotic court-storming mars KSU win over KU 
USA Today Sports: Did Kansas State court-storming cross the line? 
SI: Kansas coach Self angered by court-storming

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Flying Jayhawks cruise western Europe, explore wine country

Posted on Aug 14, 2014 in Alumni News, News, and Sports

Debbi Johanning, c’98, and her husband David, f’94, served as hosts of the Flying Jayhawks trip “European Tapestry” from June 23-July 1, 2014. Debbi is the digital media content manager for the KU Alumni Association. David is a former member of the KU men’s basketball team.

The Flying Jayhawks trip “European Tapestry,” offered by long-time travel partner Go Next, was billed as an intricate tapestry of colors, cultures and world-class architecture in western Europe, but many travelers agreed that it should also be touted as a wine lover’s dream trip.

Oceania Cruises’ M.S. Nautica set sail from Lisbon, Portugal, on June 23 and docked in Porto, Portugal, where port wine received its name in the later half of the 17th century; the cities of La Coruña and Bilbao in Spain; and spent a luxurious two-day, overnight stay in Bordeaux, France, the home of the world-famous Bordeaux wines.

Each day, except for the final day spent sailing the Bay of Biscay and the English Channel, included a choice of several guided excursions. We traveled the ancient narrow and winding streets of Porto in a trolley; visited Europe’s oldest working lighthouse, the Tower of Hercules, in La Coruña; and toured the beaming titanium-tiled Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, an iconic symbol of the city’s economic and cultural revival.

Guggenheim Museum Bilbao | www.kualumni.org

After sailing for hours down the Garonne River, Nautica docked in the port city of Bordeaux, mere feet from the concrete promenade that lines the river. Our travelers were delighted to discover that the Bordeaux Wine Festival, a biennial international wine tourism attraction, was taking place on the promenade—literally steps away from the ship. It was a tough choice to decide between taking preplanned excursions, exploring Bordeaux on our own or experiencing the wine festival! Some of us attempted all three options.

The perfect weather in Bordeaux was interrupted by a brief rain shower that dampened the wine festival but produced the most complete, brilliant rainbow I’ve ever seen—we enjoyed the view while dining in Nautica’s Polo Grill steakhouse, on my birthday no less.

Bordeaux Wine Festival | www.kualumni.org

Our Flying Jayhawks group included 42 alumni, friends and future Jayhawks. We quickly discovered many small-world connections among the group, and something unique about this particular Flying Jayhawks trip is that half of the group was made up of a blended family coming together for a reunion.

We bumped into KU fans and alumni everywhere we went. Our flight to Europe included a connection in the Toronto airport, where we spotted a couple hurriedly pulling carry-on bags decked out with KU bag tags. We assumed they might be on our trip, but alas they rushed off to make a connection to Barcelona.

Upon arrival in Lisbon, we noticed a couple who had been at our gate in the Kansas City airport. “They must be part of our trip,” I said, “if we’ve traveled all this way on the same flights.” My husband ventured off to ask them; sure enough, they were sailing with us, though not on the official trip through the Alumni Association.

And then at the Guggenheim in Bilbao, a man saw our Jayhawk gear and approached us. He and his wife attended KU, spent many years in Nebraska and later retired to Arizona. They were serving as chaperones for Semester at Sea, a shipboard program for global study abroad, and excitedly shared that a current KU student was part of the program. Of course we tracked her down in the museum—it was so much fun meeting Jayhawks 4,500 miles from home!

Our European adventure proved something we already knew: no matter how far from the Hill we may travel, we’ll always feel at home in the company of fellow Jayhawks.

European Tapestry group, Flying Jayhawks | www.kualumni.org

Watch the slideshow below to see more pictures from the European Tapestry cruise in western Europe, or click here to view the photos on Flickr. Trip participants are welcome to download photos for personal use.

Travel the world with fellow Jayhawks! Visit www.kualumni.org/travel for more information about upcoming trips and to sign up for emails about the Flying Jayhawks program. Or, contact Tegan Thornberry at tthornberry@kualumni.org or 785.864.4765 for more information.

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