James Johnson (Photo/Larry Slater)The man affectionately known as "JJ" passed away Sunday, Sept. 8. He was 61.
Visitation for James Johnson will take place Friday, September 27 from 2 p.m.- 7 p.m. at the Don Brown Funeral Home, 497 2nd Street, Ayden, North Carolina. The funeral service is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 28 at 1 p.m. at D.H. Conley High School, 2006 Worthington Rd., Greenville, NC. It was at D.H. Conley where Johnson became the first wrestler in school history to win a state title at the 1976 North Carolina wrestling championships.
After graduating from D.H. Conley, Johnson headed north to the University of Kentucky, where he was an NCAA championships qualifier for the now-defunct mat program which had been headed up by Fletcher Carr.
However, Johnson truly made a name for himself in Greco-Roman, first as a wrestler, then, as a coach, in a career that spanned decades.
For his accomplishments as wrestler and coach, Johnson was inducted into the North Carolina Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2007, and welcomed into the University of Kentucky Athletics Hall of Fame in 2016.
Want to learn more about James Johnson? Read Craig Sesker's tribute.