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M.C. “Tuffy” Johnson photo
M.C. “Tuffy” Johnson photo
M.C. “Tuffy” Johnson
Hometown: Lexington, MS
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Coach Marion “Tuffy” Johnson was a celebrated swimming coach and administrator. Coach Johnson was born in Lexington and attended Southern Miss from 1940-41 where he lettered in football from 1939-40. He was an Amateur swimming champion. He Organized and developed the curriculum for USM’s Department of Athletic Administration and Coaching. Tuffy created and guided the Mississippi Swimming and Diving Association serving as its first president and wrote the handbook and operational guidelines still in use to the present date. He was the age Group Swimming Chairman and Vice President of the Southern District of the AAU. Coach Johnson founded Hattiesburg’s summer recreation program which became the model for a year-round program. He organized the Magnolia State Swimming and Diving Meet. The programs he helped create taught more than 26,000 children to swim. Working with the Red Cross, he also trained and certified hundreds of persons in life-saving and water safety. He was inducted into the inaugural class of the Southern Miss M-Club Hall of Fame on February 20, 1965. He was the first person for the sport of swimming and diving to be inducted into the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame in 1978. Coach Johnson passed away on May 8, 2006.