Role: Pioneering athletic trainer, sports organizer, and team manager.
“Hunter is quiet and seldom talks. When he speaks, men listen, because he knows whereof he speaks. Few Race people know of his work. Those who do, praise him.”
—DeHart Hubbard, United States Olympic Gold Medalist, 1924
Teams: Carnegie Mellon University, University of Pittsburgh, Scholastic Athletic Association, Monticello-Delaney Rifles, Pittsburgh Independents, St. Christopher Club
Hunter Johnson was a pioneering athletic trainer who also organized and managed sports teams.
He was an expert in conditioning and physical fitness in what was then a highly esteemed and important position.
In the early 1900s, Johnson was the official athletic trainer of the Carnegie Tech (now Carnegie Mellon University) and University of Pittsburgh football and track teams.
At that time, they were elite among college sports programs.
He used his experiences and reputation to build several important African American sports organizations in Pittsburgh during the 1910s, including the Scholastic Athletic Association.
The Scholastics had one of the best basketball teams in the Pittsburgh region during his tenure there.
Johnson later trained Olympic level athletes including DeHart Hubbard, the first African American individual gold medalist, who was the long jump champion in the 1924 Olympics.
Johnson set the training and organizational standard of excellence for a generation of influential sports organizations.