Coach Jim Johnson developed winning high-school basketball teams for 30 years, taking over three losing varsity programs and turning them into winners in short periods of time. Of his 428 career victories, one in particular will surely never be duplicated.

On Feb. 15, 2006, Coach Johnson made the kindhearted gesture of inserting his autistic manager, Jason McElwain, now known to the world as J-Mac into Greece Athena High School’s final home game, which the Trojans won 79-43. J-Mac scored 20 points in just over four minutes, including six three-point baskets, to become an instant national celebrity. Coach Johnson, also, was featured in major news outlets around the country.

To make the Hollywood ending complete, Greece Athena captured the first Section V title of Coach Johnson’s career a few weeks later.

Now retired from Coaching, Jim is the author of A Coach and A Miracle, a public speaker and a Organizational Culture, Employee Engagement and Leadership Expert. In this episode Jim:

  • Explains that he didn’t put J-Mac in the game to get attention (he hadn’t even invited the local media)
  • Admits he was praying that J-Mac would make at least one basket
  • Tells us how the crowd and J-Mac’s teammates reacted when he drained a 3 pointer from NBA distance just before the buzzer
  • Talks about the importance of being prepared and putting in the work
  • And so much more

Give this one a listen folks. It’s a feel good story loaded with practical advice.

You can reach Coach at:


Please do not hesitate to reach out to me. I’d love to hear your thoughts, comments, and stories, or just make a connection.

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