Press Release from Greensboro Day

Greensboro Day School’s Boys Basketball Coach, Freddy Johnson, reached milestone win #1,100 tonight as the GDS boys’ basketball team defeated Caldwell Academy 75-47 for Coach Johnson’s 1,100th career win.

The Bengals opened the game on all cylinders with multiple steals by Nik Graves ’22 leading to fast break points for himself and others, opening up a 17-9 advantage at the end of the 1st quarter.  Tyler Lundblade ’21 knocked down 2 3-point baskets early for 6 of his 12 first half points.  More pressure from the Bengals in the second quarter opened up the halftime lead to 38-15.  Coach Johnson went to his bench early as all 14 Bengals in uniform logged minutes in the first half.  

The Bengals extended their lead to 52-23 with 4:39 to play in the 3rd quarter.  Coach Johnson went to his bench removing his starters for the final time from the game.  Julius Reese provided the offensive spark in the 3rd period tallying 7 points in the period. Excellent defense in the 3rd period led to a 61-35 at the end of the quarter.  

The Bengals moved on to win by a final score of 75-47 with 13 of the 14 Bengals recording points in the win.  (Tyler Lundblade: 16; Michael Zanoni: 10; Nik Graves: 7; Julius Reese: 7; CJ Collins: 7; Jaydon Young: 2; Jackson Noble: 4; Will Michael: 4; Cam Leake: 4; Cam Spencer: 5; Donovan Stricklin: 4; Luke Brewington:2; Ege Katitas 3)

With this victory, Coach Johnson became just the 8th high school boys’ basketball coach to reach this milestone.

The Bengals are now 20-5 on the season. The program has now reached the 20-win mark for the 29th consecutive season under Coach Johnson’s leadership.

The Bengals are led by their deep backcourt including Jaydon Young ’23, Michael Zanoni ’22, Tyler Lundblade ’21 and Nik Graves ’22.  The team is back in action Tuesday night in a home-conference game against Forsyth Country Day School at 6:30pm.  

Top 10 All-Time 
High School Boys’ Basketball Coaches
1. Robert Hughes 1,333
2. Morgan Wootten 1,274
3. Steve Smith* 1,188
4. Bob Hurley 1,185
5. Gary McKnight* 1,161
6. Ralph Tasker 1,122
7. Richard Duease* 1,120
8. Freddy Johnson* 1,100
9. Bill Krueger 1,096
10.   Charles Smith* 1,092
*Active Coaches

Milestone Games:
1 – 12/13/77 – Won 49-48 vs. North State (4th game of season) (77-78 season)
100 – 8th game of the 84-85 season
200 – 11/89 GDS vs. Oak Ridge Academy: 77-38 (1st game of the season)
250 – 1/17/92 GDS vs. Ravenscroft: 59-49
300 – 2/7/94 – GDS vs. Woodland Christian: 110-51
400 – 11/28/97 – GDS vs. Cresset: 62-34 (Game played at Wesleyan)
500 – 12/29/00 – GDS vs. Dudley: 55-49 (Little 4 Championship game at Greensboro Special Events Center)
600 – 2/27/04 – GDS vs. Forsyth Country Day School: 61-42 (State playoffs at N. Raleigh Christian)
700 – 11/19/07 – GDS vs. Mt. Zion: 67-45
750 – 2/27/09 – GDS vs. Forsyth Country Day School (semifinals of State playoffs)
800 – 2/7/11 – GDS vs. Calvary Baptist: 67-27
819 – 1/7/12 – GDS at Providence Day School: 87-47 ( NC state record of 819 wins)
900 – 11/18/14 – GDS vs. Covenant Day School: 73-30
1,000 – 11/28/17 – GDS vs. Vance High School: 59-28
1,100 – 2/1/21 – GDS vs. Calvary Day

By decade:
70’s – 27-32 in 3 seasons
80’s – 198-93 in 10 seasons
90’s – 260-82 in 10 seasons
00’s – 291-44 in 10 seasons
10’s – 304-49 in 10 seasons
20’s – 19-5 in 1 season
Overall: 1,100-305

Coach Freddy Johnson
Freddy Johnson, a Greensboro native, has spent his entire coaching career at Greensboro Day School.  Graduating from Grimsley High School in 1972 and Greensboro College in 1977, he furthered his education with a Master’s degree from North Carolina A&T State University in 1984.  Johnson played basketball on the collegiate level for two years at Greensboro College, where he realized he wanted to coach basketball, gaining valuable experience for his life’s work coaching YMCA basketball teams.  

Just out of Greensboro College, Johnson began volunteering with the Greensboro Day School basketball squad, and he was soon appointed Head Boys’ Varsity Basketball Coach at the relatively young independent school.  One year later, he also became the Athletic Director. During his 40 years at GDS, the athletic program has grown to include over forty teams and 85% middle and upper school student participation.  There have also been 170 conference and over 40 state championship teams during his tenure.  

At GDS Johnson has compiled an overall record of 1,100-305, a winning percentage of 78.3%, and is the winningest coach in North Carolina high school basketball history. He has led the Bengals to a record 17 tournament championships at the HAECO Invitational, a premier tournament showcasing local high school teams in Guilford County, NC.  He has coached teams to a record 11 state championships in the North Carolina Independent School Athletic Association (NCISAA) and was a finalist 8 other times.  His teams have also won 27 championships in the Piedmont Athletic Conference of Independent Schools (PACIS) and Piedmont Triad Athletic Conference (PTAC), and Johnson has been the Conference Coach of the Year 24 times.  He was the USA Today North Carolina Coach of the Year in 2015.  He was named the 2017 National Coach of the Year by BallisLife. He has led 2 Bengal teams to the GEICO National High School Tournament (’15, ’17).  

In April of 2020, he was recognized by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame with the prestigious Morgan Wootten Award for Lifetime Achievement in Coaching High School Basketball.  

Johnson’s success at GDS has led to his selection as coach in seven all-star games, including the 2017 Jordan Brand Classic, the 2013 McDonald’s All-American Game in Chicago and the 1997 Capital Classic All-Star Game in Washington, DC.

He has been enshrined into the NC Gaters Hall of Fame (2006), Greensboro College Athletic Hall of Fame (2009) and Guilford County Sports Hall of Fame (2011), as well as being awarded the Charles N. Carter NCISAA Athletic Director Cup (2015) and the Greensboro College Alumni Excellence Award (2008) and the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame (2016).

A former player wrote, “The impact that you (Freddy Johnson) have had on my life and many other young men looms large. I wanted to let you know that your influence affected the direction of my life — in a very positive fashion.  I think what I value most about our time together was that I was able to apply the principles that I learned from you in life itself, outside of athletics. I didn’t realize it at the time, but the hard work and teamwork you instilled in me would be something I would be able to use later in many life situations.”

Coach Johnson transcends basketball; he teaches not only the game but also life skills.  His success in molding young men’s lives for over four decades is the major building block in Greensboro Day School’s basketball foundation.  

Freddy Johnson and his wife, Mary Marr Dillard Johnson, have two children: Robert Johnson (McKinley) and Katherine Johnson Willingham (Davis); and two grandsons, Cross and Worth Johnson.