Bill Johnson has been part of the YMCA family for 25 years. He has inspired everyone who has had him as a coach and has worked with him during his time.
“I can’t imagine our youth basketball program without Bill,” said Campo Y Executive Director Jarrod Williams. “Over the years, Bill has impacted the lives of thousands of kids in our community. His passion for the game and developing youth is one of the main reasons our program has been successful.”
Williams feels it is more than his love of sports that sets Johnson apart.
“You just don’t find people like that anymore,” he explained. “He understands the mission of our Y and our program and he embodies it at every game and every practice. He works at the Y for the kids, the parents, the staff and the community. The impact he leaves on just about every child in our program is immeasurable. As these kids grow up and play middle school ball, high school ball, college ball or even the few professional basketball players that have come through our Y, they won’t necessarily remember our Y, or their coach, but they remember Mr. Bill.”
Senior Program Director Kaliegh Hincman at Campo Y has many fond memories of Johnson.
“I met Bill back in 1996 when I was 9 years old and went to the North Brandon Y to play basketball,” Hincman said. “I played season after season and continued to have a relationship with Bill. I wanted to go to the Y because of Bill, not just because of basketball. He invested in me as a player. He wanted to help me improve and become better, which made me want to come to the Y more and more.”
Johnson continued investing in Hincman as a player all the way through high school.
“He made it a point to always ask for my game schedules and would make it out to the home games,” she said. “After high school, I left for college and came back to town periodically. When I did, I always made it a point to stop by the Y to see Bill.”
Johnson isn’t an employee at the Y, he’s part of the Y family.
“The thing I enjoy most about working at the Y is that I am in a diverse atmosphere, just as the way things were when I was in the military,” Johnson said. “Having the opportunity to interact with people from all walks of life is what I consider to be an opportunity of a lifetime. I love what I do and the people I do it for. Watching the kids grow, and having the ability to establish a rapport with the teens and sharing the brotherhood with the adult basketball players has taken me on a wonderful journey.”
To learn more about the programs offered at Campo Y, visit www.tampaymca.org/locations/campo-family-ymca. Campo Y is located at 3414 Culbreath Rd. in Valrico.