Born and brought up in Dunedin, Otago, Vaughn Francis Johnson played first class cricket as well as some List A games for Otago. He was predominantly a right arm fast bowler who picked up 64 wickets in the 27 first class games that he played. Known for his extensive knowledge on fast bowling, it was no surprise to see him take the coaching role for his home team Otago from 1995-1997 season.
In 2000, he moved to coach the Wellington side and brought them rich rewards winning two first class titles, a One Day title and four Cricket Max titles. From 2007-10, he took his most important assignment till date as he became the specialist pace bowling coach for the New Zealand Cricket team. He is credited with producing some very good quality fast bowlers. He replaced Mike Hesson as the head coach of Otago in 2011-12. As a former player and then coach, Johnson's connections with Otago Cricket go back many years which was the main reason for his selection over other applicants.