2016 NYSPHSAA Hall of Fame Countdown: John C. Johnson

Author: David Almaviva, NYSPHSAA Communications Intern/Joe Agostinelli, NYSPHSAA Director of Communications

John C. Johnson is recognized as one of New York State’s most successful coaches. A graduate of Canandaigua Academy in Section 5, and St. Bonaventure University, Johnson began his coaching career at Canandaigua Academy in 1979 as head coach of the boys lacrosse team.

As head coach, Johnson compiled a record of 357-149 (.706 winning percentage). Johnson coached until 2005, leading his teams to 13 Finger Lakes Championships, six Section Five Championships, and made it to four NYSPHSAA semifinal games. From 1982 until 2005, he was named the Finger Lakes Coach of the Year seven times.

Johnson’s ability to coach his athletes at such a high level helped him evolve some of his athletes to the elite national level, having coached ten All-Americans and four academic All-Americans. He was asked to coach the Empire State Games lacrosse team in 1987 and 1994, as well as the United States High School Lacrosse All-Star game in 1990 and 1995.

Midway through his coaching career at Canandaigua Academy, Johnson also picked up coaching girls basketball. In twelve seasons, from 1993 until 2005, Johnson’s teams went 218-49. During the 12 season, the girls basketball team won nine Finger Lakes East Championships and two Section Five titles. The girls basketball team advanced to the NYSPHSAA Championships twice, in 2000 and 2002. Johnson was named girls basketball Finger Lakes Coach of the Year four times and the Section 5 Coach of the Year four times. His success earned him the coaching spot for the Ronald McDonald All-Star game in 2002. 

In addition to coaching duties in boys lacrosse and girls basketball, Johnson served as the Defensive Coordinator for the Canandaigua football team. During his tenure as Defensive Coordinator, Canandaigua won seven Section Five Championships. Canandaigua won the NYSPHSAA Football Championship in 1985 and 1989.

He is a member of both the Canandaigua Academy Athletic Hall of Fame and the Greater Rochester Chapter of the United State Lacrosse Hall of Fame.

Johnson currently coaches at the NCAA Division 3 level, where he is the Men’s Lacrosse Head Coach at St. John Fisher College in Pittsford, New York.