George W. Johnson, Jr, affectionately known by all as “Coach,” was born on July 18, 1927, to proud parents George and Estelle Johnson in Lucknow, SC.
George married his lovely wife, Helen, and together they raised three children.
“Coach” taught Social Studies and coached cross-country and track at Brookland- Cayce High School from 1959-1989, where he won six state championships.
After retiring, he went on to Ben Lippen School in 1989 to serve as cross-country and track coach until May, 2012. While at Ben Lippen his teams own 11 straight state championships. He loved coaching and being with young people. He was inducted into the Brookland-Cayce Hall of Fame, the South Carolina Athletic Hall of Fame, and the South Carolina Independent School Association Hall of Fame. He was known as the “Father of Cross-Country” in the state of South Carolina.
Coach was “old school.” During hard practices, when his runners said they thought they were going to die, Coach would tell them, “No, you’ll pass out long before that happens.” And though his practices were brutally tough, he was never known to use foul language. Understandably proud of his many teams and his many awards and achievements, Coach always made it a point to give all the credit to God.
And while coaching was one passion, it was not George’s only passion. His greatest passions were his Savior and family. He was a good brother, loving son, and faithful husband, father, and grandfather. His life was marked by faithfulness to God and serving others.
In 1987 George and his wife became charter members of Blythewood Presbyterian Church (PCA). He was elected to the office of ruling elder that same year. In 1990, while George was serving on the session, Blythewood Presbyterian Church voted to withdraw its membership in the PCA and join the Bible Presbyterian Church. As a ruling elder in the BPC, George served the next 22 years on the session, until his passing this year. George taught Sunday School classes from time to time, and always had words of encouragement for the young. He leaves a legacy of caring for others. His love and faithfulness in praying for all who attended the church and its services will be sorely missed.
Coach crossed the finish line and went home to be with his Lord and Savior on Tuesday, July 3, 2012.
“Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints” (Psalm 116:15)