Meet Matt Johnson, a 2010 graduate of Buford High School. Matt was born in East Ridge, Tennessee, to Wayne and Lea Johnson and was raised in Buford. He has one older sister, Ashley Johnson Smith, 33. Prior to Buford, Matt attended Harmony Elementary School until he transferred to Buford in 2001 for the fourth grade.
Throughout his time at Buford High School, Matt achieved triple A excellence. Matt was a part of the baseball team for one year, the varsity wrestling team for two years, the varsity cross country team for four years and the varsity track and field team for two years. Matt was an all-around athlete.
Alongside his athletic abilities, Matt was a part of the Bel Canto Chorale, Chamber Chorus, FCA and the FCA Leadership team. Matt finished high school with a 3.7 GPA.
Matt’s charming personality and undeniable athletic skills contributed to him being voted most athletic and most likely to bring home to mom his senior year.
The staff members from Buford City Schools who have had the biggest influence on Matt throughout high school were Tim Harris and Drew Eager.
“Mr. Harris’s passion for teaching and for his subject area engaged and inspired his students,” Matt said. “I looked forward to his class each day and was fortunate enough to have him for my junior and senior year. And Coach Eager was my high school cross country coach. He helped me grow as an athlete and greatly assisted me in achieving my dream of running in college.”
When asked what he has learned at BHS and taken into adulthood, Matt said, “When I was a student athlete at BHS, I learned the importance of the intangibles my teachers and coaches instilled in us. These core values such as a strong work ethic, integrity, self-discipline, perseverance, teamwork, effort and striving for excellence helped me develop as a student and an athlete while at Buford, and continue to guide me as a teacher, coach, husband and father.”
After his graduation in 2010, Matt went on to attend Augusta University, where he graduated in May 2015 with Bachelor of Arts in communications and a minor in health and physical education. Matt later completed his teacher certification through the University of West Florida.
“During my time as a student-athlete, I had countless teachers and coaches pour into my life and invest their time and energy into molding me into the man I am today, Matt said. “While I know I can never repay them for all they did for me, I know that I can pay it forward to the students and athletes that I work with on a daily basis.”
Throughout his college experience, Matt ran cross country and track on scholarship, and was a four-year team captain. Matt became a two-time cross country team conference champion and was named to the All-Conference Cross Country team and the All-Conference Sportsmanship Team.
Currently, Matt serves as a teacher at Buford Academy and is the head cross country coach at BHS. He resides in Flowery Branch with his wife, Tia, his 1-month-old son, Judah, and his two dogs, Tucker and Sally.
Matt and his wife Tia both partake in volunteering at their local church. They volunteer for the youth group and kids’ ministry as well as in the nursery on Sunday mornings.
To this day, Matt continues to enjoy running. Since college, he has pursued trail and ultra-running. He loves being in the mountains and he often competes in ultra/mountain races all across the Southeast.
Matt Johnson is the perfect embodiment of a true Buford wolf — hard working, intelligent and overachieving. Surely, he will continue to impact the future of Buford wolves for years to come. Once a Wolf, always a Wolf!
— Emily Hammond