Lord Botetourt High School coach Andrew Hart, a graduate and former basketball player at Emory & Henry College, will be hosting the annual Bob Johnson Classic at LB this Saturday. The event will include five games that include coaches who have Emory & Henry ties. Robert J. “Bob” Johnson served Emory & Henry College as its men’s basketball coach and athletics director for 30 years.
The winningest coach in program history with 370 victories across 27 seasons, Johnson is one of the legendary mentors in the history of the Old Dominion Athletic Conference. He was selected as a member of the 2009 class of the Emory & Henry Sports Hall of Fame. Saturday’s event includes five games, beginning at 1 p.m. with Goochland against Parry McCluer. At 2:30 p.m. LCA will take on Narrows, followed by Fluvanna against Altavista at 4 p.m. and Monacan against Radford at 5:30 p.m.
The final game of the day will match host Lord Botetourt against Salem High at 7 p.m. Nine of the head coaches participating Saturday played for Johnson, and his coaching tree includes nearly two dozen other players and assistants formerly or currently coaching across the world, including current E&H coach Paul Russo and Virginia Tech coach Mike Young. “Bob Johnson was a wonderful man and friend,” said Young. “He was an educator first, but also an excellent and innovative basketball coach.
He gave me my first assistant job in 1986. I still reference that time and everything I learned from him as I coach today.” Johnson died from cancer in August of 2009. Proceeds from the Bob Johnson Classic will benefit the American Institute for Cancer Research. This year’s event is dedicated to Charlie Thomas, who played for Virginia Tech’s 1973 NIT championship team and served as stint as an assistant to Johnson during a 30-year coaching career. Thomas died on November 5th of this year.