Coach Harry Johnson is a native of Danville, Virginia, where he has spent most of his life. He is a product of the Danville Public School system and received a B.S. degree from Virginia State University and a Masters Degree from the University of Virginia. Before beginning his career in education, Harry played professional baseball in the Pittsburgh Pirates organization and served a tour of duty in the United States Army. Coach Johnson is married and he and his wife Gaynell are the proud parents of two children, Christopher and Gabrielle.
When Coach Johnson first came to George Washington High School he taught physical education and coached both jayvee football and basketball. He was elevated to the head coaching position for the 1977-78 season where he remained for 19 years. During his time as the head coach at GW his teams won 348 games, earned 14 district titles, 6 Holiday Shootout championships, 3 final four appearances and one state title. His last team ended the 1995-96 season by defeating Hopewell 73-71 and winning the school’s first boys state title since 1933. A final record of 28-0 and a number 4 national ranking in the USA Today poll culminated Coach Johnson’s career as GW’s all-time winningest coach.
After retiring from teaching Coach Johnson continued to help and work with young people through his participation in many civic endeavors. He has been an active member of Oak Grove Baptist Church, The Danville Kiwanis club, and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Harry has also served on the board of directors of the Salvation Army, Big Brothers and Big Sisters, and The Danville Boys and Girls Club. Since retiring Harry has received numerous honors and awards but his most cherished award was his induction into the Danville Register and Bee Sports Hall of Fame in 2004.