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Virginia Hunt Newman International Award

Johnny Johnson (USA)

2018 Virginia Hunt Newman Award

Sponsored by Kiefer


Johnny Johnson has journeyed from being a student in 1959, to teacher, and now owner of the Blue Buoy Swim School in Tustin, California. In the past 51 years, he has taught thousands of children to swim and is now teaching many third-generation students.


Blue Buoy is a charter member of the United States Swim School Association, and Johnny is a past president, having served on the Board of Directors on two occasions. In addition to seven years of board service he co-chaired the USSSA Infant Toddler Committee and co-authored the teaching course, along with Virginia Hunt-Newman, that has been taken by thousands of instructors worldwide. Johnny was awarded the USSSA Guiding Light Award in 1996 and in 2004 he was recognized for his lifelong contributions to swimming and water safety with his induction into the USSSA Hall of Fame. Johnny and his wife Cindy were awarded the Humanitarian Award in October 2010 for their contributions to drowning prevention.


Johnson has coached four different age group swim teams, synchronized swimming as an assistant to ISHOF inductee, Dawn Bean, taught scuba and coached water polo and swimming at Villa Park High School where both his sons achieved All-American honors. Many Blue Buoy students have achieved elite status in competitive swimming and water polo, including Olympians, Amy White (Baladis)1984, Gavin Arroyo 1996 & 2000, Jason Lezak 2000, 2004, 2008 & 2012, Michael (Milorad) Cavic 2000, 20004, 2008 & 2012, Ryan Brown 2002, Jessica Hardy 2012 and sisters Makenzie and Aria Fischer 2016. Johnny also taught ISHOF Honoree, Chad Hundeby who held the English Channel world record for 11 years.


It is Johnny’s love of teaching infants and toddlers that keeps his passions burning after 51 years in the pool and still counting. He has always advocated for a nurturing, fun and positively reinforced methodology that provides each student with the ability to preserve their life in the water and reach their full aquatic potential. Johnny believes in developing a foundation of breath and balance control, followed by control of movement. All this is made possible by a bond of love, trust and fun! Blue Buoy’s slogan is: “Great beginnings…….lead to great finishes!”


Johnny and his wife Cindy have presented their methods and philosophy of teaching internationally at conferences in Monterrey and Acapulco, Mexico, Wellington, New Zealand, and Uppsala, Sweden.

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