Greensboro Day School’s Head Boys Basketball Coach, Freddy Johnson, Approaches Milestone Win #1000
Greensboro, NC — Greensboro Day School’s Boys Basketball Coach, Freddy Johnson, is working towards his 1,000th career win with his next victory. On Tuesday, November 21, the GDS boys’ basketball team defeated Charlotte Latin for Coach Johnson’s 999th career win. With the next victory, Coach Johnson will become the 20th high school boys’ basketball coach to reach this milestone.
The Bengals compete against Zebulon B. Vance High School at RJ Reynolds High School in Winston Salem on Saturday, November 25 at 4:30 p.m. Saturday’s game could potentially be win #1000. If not, the team will play again on Tuesday, November 28 at Providence Day School at 6:30 p.m.
Coach Freddy Johnson
Freddy Johnson, a Greensboro native, has spent his entire coaching career at Greensboro Day School. Graduating from Grimsley High School in 1972 and Greensboro College in 1977, he furthered his education with a Master’s degree from North Carolina A&T State University in 1984. Johnson played basketball on the collegiate level for two years at Greensboro College, where he realized he wanted to coach basketball, gaining valuable experience for his life’s work coaching YMCA basketball teams.
Just out of Greensboro College, Johnson began volunteering with the Greensboro Day School basketball squad, and he was soon appointed Head Boys’ Varsity Basketball Coach at the relatively young independent school. One year later, he also became the Athletic Director. During his 40 years at GDS, the athletic program has grown to include over forty teams and 85% middle and upper school student participation. There have also been 154 conference and 40 state championship teams during his tenure.
At GDS, Johnson has compiled an overall record of 999-283 a winning percentage of 78%, and is the winningest coach in North Carolina high school basketball history. He has led the Bengals to a record 15 tournament championships at the HAECO Invitational, a premier tournament showcasing local high school teams in Guilford County, NC. He has coached teams to 9 state championships in the North Carolina Independent School Athletic Association (NCISAA) and was a finalist 8 other times. His teams have also won 25 championships in the Piedmont Athletic Conference of Independent Schools (PACIS), and Johnson has been the PACIS Conference Coach of the Year 22 times. He was the USA Today North Carolina Coach of the Year in 2015.
He was named the 2017 National Coach of the Year by BallisLife. He has led 2 Bengal teams to the Dick’s Sporting Good National High School Tournament (’15, ’17).
Johnson’s success at GDS has led to his selection as coach in seven all-star games, including the 2017 Jordan Brand Classic, the 2013 McDonald’s All-American Game in Chicago and the 1997 Capital Classic All-Star Game in Washington, DC.
He has been enshrined into the NC Gaters Hall of Fame (2006), Greensboro College Athletic Hall of Fame (2009) and Guilford County Sports Hall of Fame (2011), as well as being awarded the Charles N. Carter NCISAA Athletic Director Cup (2015) and the Greensboro College Alumni Excellence Award (2008) and the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame (2016).
A former player recently wrote, “The impact that you (Freddy Johnson) have had on my life and many other young men looms large. I wanted to let you know that your influence affected the direction of my life — in a very positive fashion. I think what I value most about our time together was that I was able to apply the principles that I learned from you in life itself, outside of athletics. I didn’t realize it at the time, but the hard work and teamwork you instilled in me would be something I would be able to use later in many life situations.”
Coach Johnson transcends basketball; he teaches not only the game but also life skills. His success in molding young men’s lives for some four decades is the major building block in Greensboro Day School’s basketball foundation.
Freddy Johnson and his wife, Mary Marr Dillard Johnson, have two children: Robert Johnson (McKinley) and Katherine Johnson Willingham (Davis); and one grandson, Cross Johnson.
Greensboro Day School
Greensboro Day School is a PreK-12 independent school located in Greensboro, North Carolina with an enrollment of 785 students. Founded in 1970, the School’s mission statement states, “Greensboro Day School develops the intellectual, ethical, and interpersonal foundations students need to become constructive contributors to the world.”
Courtesy of Susan Davis and Michael Sumner at GDS