Not often has a coach received so unique an honor as has Roy Johnson. While still a member of the faculty at the University of New Mexico he has had a modern, $2.5 million gymnasium and swimming pool named after him. But New Mexico's regard for Roy Johnson had been building up since 1920. That was the year Johnson moved from Michigan to the South-west to recover from the effects of gas poisoning suffered in World War I He took over as the one-man physical education department at the university. With a school enrollment of only 227, no gymnasium and no football held, Johnson faced what seemed to him a challenge. The athletic program Coach Johnson built with Swedish determination has won him the admiration and affection of his students and co-workers and the nickname Ironhead. The dedication last December of the Johnson Gymnasium showed the depth of their affection.
Roy Johnson's three children graduated from UNM, and probably some of his nine grandchildren will do so too. It is easy to understand what emotions are involved when, asked about retirement this June, he says, I have a track team to get ready for spring. After that I'll start retiring."