Alvis Johnson, legendary high school coach, laid to rest

Coached football, track at Harrodsburg
Alvis Johnson, legendary high school coach, laid to rest
Published: Jul. 21, 2023 at 4:26 PM EDT
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HARRODSBURG, Ky. (WKYT) - Longtime high school coach Alvis Johnson, 76, was laid to rest on Friday. Johnson, best known for coaching football and track at Harrodsburg High School, passed away on July 15.

Johnson, who played football at Western Kentucky, coached the Pioneers from 1973-97, leading the boys track and field teams to four state titles, the girls team to one state championship and the the football team to three state runner-up finishes.

Hundreds turned out for Johnson’s funeral, held at Alvis Johnson Field, which is now home to the Mercer Co. Titans.

“Coach is a great inspiration,” Former Harrodsburg standout Craig Yeast said. “Just a pillar in our community. There will never be another Alvis Johnson.”

Garrard Co. defensive coordinator Jeff Hester coached against Johnson and said Johnson’s impact goes well beyond the football field.

“A great man. A great person. A great mentor,” Hester said. “He just did things the right way and tried to help a lot of young people.”

Former Kentucky quarterback Derrick Ramsey met Johnson in 1974, when Ramsey first arrived in Lexington to play football.

“We’ve lost a person who was on Mount Rushmore when it comes to coaches here in the state of Kentucky,” Ramsey said. “He understood what it took to be successful. Hence, that gave him a lot of credibility in this community and around the state.”

Johnson was inducted into the Dawahares/Kentucky High School Athletic Association Hall of Fame in 2004. He was hired by C.M. Newton as an assistant athletics director in 1998.