2023 Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame Inductee: Bruce Johnson

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Bruce Johnson

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Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame

Frewsburg Central School has had an extremely successful boys and girls swimming program since 1977. The man who started it, nurtured it and maintained it at a high level of excellence for the past 45 years is an inductee of the Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame in 2023.

Bruce Johnson was born in 1955. He did his youth swimming for the YMCA coached by Harold Leach. He is a 1973 graduate of Jamestown High School where he was a four-year breaststroke swimmer for fellow CSHOF inductee Coach Bill Rollinger (1996).

Johnson attended North Park University where he swam four years. He set North Park records in the 100 and 200 breaststroke races.

Following his graduation from North Park in 1977, Bruce was hired as a physical education teacher at Frewsburg. He was the school’s athletic director 1988-1996. He earned a Master’s Degree in 1990 from Canisius College.

Since Johnson started the Frewsburg swimming program in ‘77, he has guided the boys and girls teams to an incredible combined record of 948-231-2. His girls have won 37 Chautauqua County championships while his boys have earned 25 county championships. He produced 16 New York State championship meet qualifiers.

Bruce was the Section VI girls swimming committee chairman and a member of the New York State girls swimming committee for 25 years. He was also the meet director for the NYS girls championships for 10 years.

Johnson was the swimming coach at the Jamestown Boys and Girls Club for 5 years and led the STAR swim club for 15 years. He developed 5 junior nationals qualifiers.

Besides swimming, Bruce was also active in baseball. He was the assistant baseball coach at Frewsburg for 10 years during which time the Bears won 6 sectional titles and made 4 state tournament appearances.

He coached in the Falconer Little League program for 17 years including all-star teams that were area and section winners. He also umpired for 5 years.

Retired from the classroom in 2015, but still coaching at Frewsburg, Johnson resides in Jamestown.