The pool of retired and revered coaches recently made room for one more – Coach Jerry M. Johnson Sr.
Former students, players, family and friends gathered at the Marriott East Hotel on April 27 for a retirement dinner and gala in Coach Johnson's honor. The celebration noted his 42 years of service in education and coaching in Memphis City Schools and Shelby County Schools.
Coach Johnson started his coaching career at Wooddale Junior High, coaching football and track. His teams won championships in both sports.
In 1974, he began his basketball and baseball careers at Fairley High School. While he was a basketball assistant, the Bulldogs reached the State Championships final four, losing to Northside 76-63 in the state finals. In baseball, the Bulldogs won two league championships and were the first runners-up in the city and regional championships in 1979 and 1980.
At Kingsbury High School, his basketball team, the Falcons, combined for 162 wins and only 59 loses over a seven-year period. The Falcons won seven league championships, five district championships, two city championships, four regional titles, one sub state title and one State Championship (1998).
At Mitchell High School, Coach Johnson established a 169-72 record, winning six league championships, six district championships, five regional championships, four sub-state championships, four final fours and three state runners-up. In baseball, his teams won city championships at Kingsbury and Mitchell.
A product of Memphis Carver High School, Coach Johnson is a graduate of the LeMoyne Owen College, with a Bachelor of Arts in Social Science, and the University of Memphis, with a Masters of Educational Administration. He also did post-graduate study at Vanderbilt University, Tennessee State University, Christian Brothers University, The University of Maryland, Peabody College and Rhodes College.
On numerous occasions, he has been awarded the Teacher of the Year honor, and he has finished as runner-up.
A Vietnam veteran, Coach Johnson is a member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc.
A member of Monumental Baptist Church, Coach Johnson is married to Pamela Johnson and has two sons, Jerry M. Johnson Jr. and Jorr'don M. Johnson.