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Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Community Honors Chipola’s Coach Johnson

Last Tribute to a Lifetime of Accomplishments By Sid Riley

Most men work earnestly for a lifetime, raise a family, love and are loved, age, and pass. Within a relatively short time, after another generation or perhaps two, they are forgotten and gone forever, their genealogy being the only lasting effect of their having ever lived. However, there are some among us who leave a lasting mark.
The memories of these unique individuals normally result from the legacy their life’s work leaves for the benefit of future generations. Usually these individuals are writers, artists, musicians, politicians, philosophers, scholars, explorers and others whose life efforts create enduring results. The number of people impacted by the work dictates the scope of the lasting tribute which is created.
Chipola’s Coach Milton Johnson was such a man. Through the influential role he played during the initial years of development of Chipola College, he has left a legacy which will long endure. In the process he positively touched the lives of hundreds of his players, and peers. He was one of the founders of a sports program at Chipola which will endure as long as the college is here.
Coach Johnson will be immortalized in the annuals of the College for his accomplishments as a coach, and the foundation of a sports program which has developed into a nationally recognized success. He established a tradition of success.
Locally, he is even more revered for his work as a positive role model and mentor for all of those who were fortunate enough to play under his guidance. His lasting, positive influence on hundreds of lives is another of the legacies he left with us.
In his later years, those who loved and respected the man and his accomplishments took opportunities to express their appreciation to him. Tributes such as naming the new college gymnasium/ health center for him, inducting him into the National Junior College Athletic Association Hall of Fame, and numerous events and banquets which were held in his honor gave all of those who loved and respected him the opportunity for expressing those feelings. Those who admired the Coach can be assured that when he passed, it was with a feeling of satisfaction for his lifetime accomplishments.
Editors Note: For more on Coach Johnson please read Clint Cox’s "Simply Put" in the Sports Section.

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