Former Tennessee all-American offensive lineman Bill Johnson passed away Sunday at the age of 84. Johnson played for the Vols in the mid-1950’s and was later inducted into the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame. Johnson was part of the Vols team in 1956 that finished 10-0 in the regular season and ended up ranked 2nd in the nation.
As a senior, Johnson garnered national notoriety himself when he earned All-America and Academic All-America honors in 1957, the first U.T. player to accomplish that feat and one of just three to do so in program history. Johnson was also named first-team All-SEC in 1957 after helping lead the Orange and White to an 8-3 season that was capped by a 3-0 victory over 9th ranked Texas A&M in the Gator Bowl.
Johnson served for two years in the Army after graduating from Tennessee and spent six years as a member of the Tennessee National Guard, where he earned the rank of first lieutenant.
He was also a longtime banker, farmer and community leader in his hometown of Sparta.
The family will receive friends from 4 until 7 p.m. Thursday, September 17,2020 at Bilbrey Farms in Sparta. There will be a celebration of life service at 2 p.m. Friday, September 18, 2020 at Duck Pond Manor in Sparta. Johnson is survived by his wife: Rena; and daughters: Cynthea Amason, Cathryn Rolfe and Carolyn Bronson.
(picture courtesy of UTSports)