Huffman High wresting coach dies due to COVID-19 just 5 days after birthday

Local News

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Huffman High School wrestling coach Derrick Johnson has passed away after he contracted COVID-19. He was 43 years old.

Johnson passed away on Sunday, just five days after his 43rd birthday. The news was announced by the Alabama High School Athletic Association.

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family, the faculty staff and students,” AHSAA Executive Director Steve Savarese said. “Derrick Johnson had a tremendous positive impact on the lives of the many students he taught and was considered an icon in the community he served.”

Johnson graduated Woodlawn high School back in 1996 and attended the University of North Alabama where he was also a member of the football team.

He began coaching and teaching back in 2002 in the Birmingham City Schools System, first at Woodlawn before heading to Huffman. He was also on the football coaching staff at Huffman.

“Coach Johnson was a kind, dedicated man who gave his all to the students at Huffman High School,” said Huffman Athletic Director Carlos Hammonds. “He was one of those folks who always was there when someone else needed a helping hand. Even though he wasn’t the coach, he came to every basketball game, every event. He has meant so much to our school, our student-athletes. He had a gift of teaching. His desire to serve was never more evident than through his love shown working with our special education students. His positive influence will be felt for a long, long time.”

Funeral arrangements for Johnson have not been made at this time.

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