Greensboro Day (N.C.) boys’ basketball coach Freddy Johnson won his 1,000th game Friday, a 59-28 romping of Vance (Charlotte), but in the aftermath he found a hard time putting the feat into words.
Not just because of the magnitude of the moment, but also because, well, he really hadn’t thought about it.
“I never talked about winning 1,000 games,” Johnson said. “A lot of other people were talking about it, but I just like to focus on my team.”
Clearly that’s served him well over the last 41 seasons as head coach of the Bengals (8-0), who check in at No. 14 in the USA Today Super 25.
Johnson is 1 of just 20 high school basketball coaches in history to reach the 1,000 mark, putting him in legendary company with Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.) coach Steve Smith, who reached 1,000 wins in 2015, and former Dunbar (Fort Worth, Texas) coach Robert Hughes, who retired in 2005 as the all-time winningest high school basketball coach with 1,333 wins.
“Well I certainly don’t feel that way,” Johnson said of his newfound legendary status. “I’ve been very blessed to have good players and a good support system, whether it’s the administration at the school or my assistant coaches. I’ve been really lucky.”
All downplaying aside, Johnson’s 41-year run has been rock star-like.
He’s basically won state titles just under 25 percent of the time he’s been coaching (9) and played in 17 state championship game. The Bengals have also won 25 conference championships under Johnson.
Greensboro Day will host a celebration event in Johnson’s honor on Dec. 5.
“I haven’t really reflected on everything because we’re in our season right now,” Johnson said. “To be honest, my first thought after that game on Friday was looking forward to our big game against Providence Day (Charlotte) on Tuesday. Like I said, I’ve been blessed to have great people around me. I definitely share this with all of them.”
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