Coach Jim Johnson, based in Rochester, New York, is a basketball luminary known for both his decades-long coaching achievements and a singular, heartwarming moment in 2006. Over his 30-year coaching tenure, he transformed losing teams into champions and accrued an enviable record of 428-221. However, it was his decision in a 2006 game that made national headlines: he allowed Jason McElwain (known as J-Mac), an autistic team manager, to play. In just a few minutes on the court, J-Mac netted 20 points, including six three-pointers, thrusting both player and coach into the national spotlight.
The years that followed were filled with milestones. After the celebrated game, Greece Athena clinched its first Section V title. Furthermore, Coach Johnson received multiple accolades, including several Coach of the Year awards. He went on to guide the Trojans to an astonishing 66-5 record over three seasons. Another memorable moment arose when he and J-Mac were jointly featured in a 2009 CBS Sports segment.
A graduate of SUNY-Cortland and SUNY-Brockport, Coach Johnson took retirement from teaching in 2014 and coaching in 2015, but his mission didn’t end there. He transitioned to motivational speaking, offering presentations such as “Dreams Really Do Come True” and “Leadership Lessons from Half-Court”. In his talks, Johnson underscores the essence of teamwork and leadership. He frequently references the historic game, emphasizing how J-Mac’s teammates, driven by camaraderie, consistently passed him the ball. Now, with a commitment to broadening horizons, Coach Johnson travels the nation, inspiring and educating a new generation with his story and insights.
Learn more at: https://coachjimjohnson.com/