MOUNT PLEASANT – The dean of Cabarrus County football coaches is calling it a career.
After 23 seasons at Mount Pleasant, popular head man Mike Johns announced Monday that he is retiring.
Johns will leave as the second-winningest coach in Cabarrus County history, behind only legendary Concord High School coach E.Z. Smith.
During his time in Mount Pleasant, Johns coached nearly 300 games and amassed a record of 148-135.
He will coach the Tigers in the playoffs, which start Friday, before stepping away for good in January.
The 55-year-old Johns, a Texas native, arrived at Mount Pleasant in 1999 after coaching stints at East Rowan and West Stanly. It was at West Stanly that Johns got his first chance to be a head coach.
At Mount Pleasant, Johns was known for his close relationship with his players and warm demeanor toward parents and others close to the program. During his time with the Tigers, he sent many players to compete at the college level and helped assistant coaches on his staff to become head coaches at other schools, all while helping his own team become an annual threat to win the conference championship and go deep in the state playoffs.
In addition to coaching football at Mount Pleasant, where he taught business in the classroom, Johns also was the head track and field coach. Johns also produced several high achievers in that sport, both boys and girls.
Johns coached his last regular-season game this past Friday, with the Tigers falling to Jay M. Robinson, 27-0.
The Tigers, who won the Rocky River 2A Conference last season, are currently 6-4 overall and 3-2 (third place) in the newly formed Yadkin Valley 1A/2A Conference.
Mount Pleasant opens the first round of the Class 2A state playoffs this Friday at Maiden.