Winter Haven’s Johnnie Lawson Named Girls’ Basketball Coach of the Year

Sports-Award-Logo_Color_Florida Dairy FarmerGAINESVILLE (March 19) – Johnnie Lawson of Winter Haven High School has been named the 2018 Florida Dairy Farmers Girls’ Basketball Coach of the Year following a final round of voting by a statewide panel of high school coaches and media representatives.

The overall coach-of-the-year award was the first for Lawson, who led Winter Haven to a 32-1 record and its third consecutive state championship. In 10 years, Lawson has posted a 236-55 record with eight Final Four appearances.

Lawson, who was earlier named Class 8A Coach-of-the-Year, tallied 144 points to finish ahead of Class 9A COY Kelvin Hamm of Port Orange Spruce Creek (103). Class 3A COY Ochiel Swaby of Miami Country Day finished third with 94 points followed by Class 1A COY Richard Hampton of Wildwood (88) and Class 3A COY Henry McNabb of Somerset Prep (79).

Rounding out the voting were Class 7A COY Chad Terrell of Fort Myers (65), Class 5A COY Tracey Wolfe of Oxbridge Academy (46), Class 6A COY Greg Farias of American Heritage (32) and Class 2A COY Ray Buggs of City of Life Christian (25).

The Florida Dairy Farmers High School Sports Awards program exemplifies Florida Dairy Farmers’ commitment to the state’s youth. This is the 26th year of these unique awards as we honor the state’s top athletes and coaches in all 30 FHSAA sanctioned and recognized sports. The program also emphasizes to young people the importance of keeping dairy products a primary part of their diet in their overall nutrition plan. 

2018 FINAL VOTING RESULTS (Area coaches in bold)
Player Total Points 1st-place Votes
Johnnie Lawson 144 7
Kelvin Hamm 103 5
Ochiel Swaby 94 3
Richard Hampton 88 2
Henry McNabb 79 1
Chad Terrell 65 1
Tracey Wolfe 46 1
Greg Farias 32 0
Ray Buggs 25 0

Past Girls’ Basketball Coaching Winners:
1993 – Ronnie Bond, Pensacola Washington
1994 – Al Austin, Jacksonville Ribault
1995 – Reginald Davis, Tallahassee Godby
1996 – Harry Elifson, St. Petersburg Boca Ciega
1997 – Al Austin, Jacksonville Ribault
1998 – Dave Horner, Ocala Forest
1999 – Al Austin, Jacksonville Ribault
2000 – Ronnie Bond, Pensacola Washington
2001 – Ronnie Bond, Pensacola Washington
2002 – Al Austin, Jacksonville Jacksonville Ribault
2003 – Abby Ward, South Broward
2004 – Ronnalee Terry, The Benjamin School
2005 – Carl Brown, Lake Mary
2006 – Greg Hostetler, Titusville Astronaut
2007 – LeDawn Gibson, Winter Haven
2008 – Mike Hamburger, Naples Barron Collier
2009 – Carla Harris-Curry, Miami Norland
2010 – Marcia Pinder, Fort Lauderdale Dillard
2011 – Marcia Pinder, Fort Lauderdale Dillard
2012 – Marcia Pinder, Fort Lauderdale Dillard
2013 – Marcia Pinder, Fort Lauderdale Dillard
2014 – John Harder, Bradenton Southeast
2015 – Marcia Pinder, Fort Lauderdale Dillard
2016 – Sheila Seymore-Pennick, Jacksonville Ribault
2017 – Ochiel Swaby, Miami Country Day