Garland ISD honored legendary Executive Director of Athletics Homer Johnson’s 68-year career during a retirement bash last month. Hundreds of family members, friends and colleagues gathered in the Curtis Culwell Center arena to peruse mementos, nosh on snacks and commemorate Johnson’s impact on GISD and the community.
Johnson is a 1945 Garland High School graduate who became the youngest coach in Texas when he began his career at his alma mater. He served the Owls for 14 years, leading district, bi-district, regional and even state championship baseball and football teams. Under his watch, GISD built two athletic stadiums, including one renamed in his honor in 1978. With such a legacy, it is no surprise the popular athletic icon has received a number of distinctions throughout the years. Two local sports writers even published a book about Johnson entitled That Crazy Kid in 2011.
The lively celebration featured memorabilia, selfie and polaroid stations, life-size cutouts of Johnson, and a themed food bar—complete with a cake replica of HBJ’s namesake. Former GISD Superintendent Curtis Culwell, former Dallas ISD Superintendent and Commissioner of Education Mike Moses, and GISD Superintendent Bob Morrison shared stories, thoughts and well wishes. A tribute video showcased several touching testimonials from individuals Johnson inspired, impressed and mentored. Johnson then spoke words of appreciation and was presented with a plaque, crystal award and commemorative ring.
Relive the memory-filled event through photos and by searching #ThanksHBJ on Twitter.