Kentucky Historical Society

Interview with Alvis Johnson, Jr.

Date of Interview: 

Wed, 02/19/2014





DO Dykes, Crispus Attucks, Fleming Thornton, Edward Norton, Harold Woods, Bill Baldridge, Forrest Williamson, Charley Kolasa, Aggie Sale, Bess Williams, James Jones, Rhonda Boyd Kurtz, Beechwood, Pike County, Craig Yeast, Jason Dunn, Gary Johnson, Julius Yeast, Chris Bentley, Clay Devine, Charley Holiday, Robert Owens, Bobby Meaux, Sean Sebert, Haven Twins, Henry Parks, Donald Smith, David Feeback, Genie SimsKevin Craddock, Keith Brown, Scott Bugg, Terry Yeast, Spencer Tatum, Will Begley, C M Newton, Hal Mumme, Tim Couch, Truman Bartleson, Sportleigh Field, Centennial Baptist Church

Call Number: 


95 minutes. Alvis Johnson discusses his childhood and education in the Peedee community in Christian County, Kentucky, near Fort Campbell, as well as his football career at Christian County High School and Westem Kentucky University. During his 25 year career at Harrodsburg, his track teams won 5 state championships and his football teams won 194 games appearing in 3 state championship games. Under his tutelage, over 40 athletes received scholarships to Division 1A or 1M School, earning scholarship dollars over 1.7 million dollars; his track athletes won more than 50 individual state titles. Many of his football players played in the NFL including his sons, Derrick and Dennis. Coach Johnson discusses his career as Assistant Athletic Director at the University of Kentucky as well as his teaching methods on the field and in the classroom. He was voted Football Coach of the Year by the Associated Press in 1991 and 1996. In 1992 he was inducted into the Track & Field Hall of Fame and in 2004 he was inducted into the KentuckylDawahare's High School Athletic Association Hall of Fame. He was a Finalist for the Disney National Teacher of the Year Award in 1996. Johnson was born in Christian County in 1947, his parents were Learlene Johnson and Avis Johnson. Other topics discussed include: One room school (Grades 1-8) for African Americans in Peedee; High School Track including the "Heart of the Bluegrass Track Meer' in Harrodsburg; High School & College Football & Concerns regarding recruitment and the safety of the players; Importance of African American involvement in the community; His gubernatorial appointment to the Kentucky Sports Authority KHSSA Board of Control (1988-1995); First African American to serve as president of the National Federation of State High School Associations

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