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Tuskegee, Alabama
July 20, 2000     The Tuskegee News
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July 20, 2000

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q Tuskegee native selected to coach Michigan All-Stars The Basketball Coaches Association of Michigan (BCAM's) board of directors reached into its pool of 3,000 coaches and picked long- time and recently-retired Detroit Cody's Robert Menefee as its team Michigan coach for the next two years. The team will represent Michigan in the annual Wendy's Classic, held this year on July 20-21 at Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio. The games will be televised nationally oil Fox Sports Network• Team Michigan will be represented this year by a highly talented group of seniors from across the state• Notables are Marcus Taylor, Maurice Searight, James Theus, Rickey Paulding, Arthur Johnson, and Thomas Dillard. Coach Menefee was honored at last year's BCAM's Hall of Fame banquet in Lansing for his accomplishments in Michigan high school basketball, which includes a 421-169 overall record at Cody High school• Menefee was inducted into The Detroit PSL basketball Hall of Fame in 1998. He was elect- ed president of the 75-member Detroit boy~ basketball coaches association in April 2000. Menefee received his B.S. Degree from Alabama State University and a M.S. Degree from Eastern Michigan University. He is the son of the late Deacon (Spring Hill Baptist Church) Timothy Menefee and is the cousin of Macon County Probate Judge Alfonza Robert Menefee All-Star Coach Menefee. He is a graduate of South Macon High School. Menefee also served as a sergeant in the Vietnam war in the same unit as Coach Charles Biggers of Booker T. Washington H i g h School. Coach Menefee has sent over 270 young men to the college ranks from Cody. They include: Vernon Carr, Michigan State; Rodney Heard, Kansas State; Brian Alexander, University of Detroit; Robert Martin, Ball State; Derrick Zeigler, Cleveland State; Kevin Hrabowski, Boston College; Candice Pickens, California University• Ernie Zeigler is presently an assistant coach at Kansas State and Rodney Heard is with the Vancouver Grizzlies NBA organization• Page B-2, The Tuskegee Death of Coach 'D.J.' Johnsoff::c: ~RCE h k Nlg ity s oc s otasu a commun i26, j In a shocking development, Notasulga High 'Tie said there was always a reason f0iCount thing. He was a great person--always smili,g (lo never saw him being ugly or fussing. He ke~ Is Fe~ • ge ~a~ one together He made everyone work as r • , ^ ~ther i He's very special to me• I ve been a friencl ~, f a~, fly." . ,, tol' t:t~ He was special to so many people, saic~. Boman, a recent Notasulga graduate whO'~ers, softball for Johnson. "In the last five ye~a's U] touched a lot of people. He was a great co~ July was like some of the other coaches. He wa[se call ested in not)ust softball, but your life. He ~orma, to relate ~. ~keg, Johnson s father, Mar-tin, died of a hear~neerl~ School girls softball coach Donald "D.J." Johnson died Wednesday, July 12, of a what appears to be a massive heart attack. Johnson, who had led the Notasulga girls softball team to its first state tournament this past spring was 33 years old. A native of Sylvania, Johnson collapsed about 11:45 a.m. at the school and was pronounced dead at 1 p.m. at East Alabama Medical Center in Opelika where he was transported by ambulance. Lee County Coroner Bill Harris said Johnson's death had "all the classic symptoms of a massive heart attack." Notasulga head football coach and athletic direc- tor Ronnie Sikes was on the scene when Johnson collapsed when he was helping to make a weight room out of the old band room, according to Sikes. 'Tie died in my arms," Sikes said• '~I did CPR on him for about 10 minutes, then the EMTs revived. We never could get a pulse." Johnson had skills as a carpenter and plumber and was helping put tile up in a bathroom when he collapsed wtule stepping up a ladder• A math teacher and assistant football coach in addition to his softball duties, Jonson is survived by his wile, Shana, and a two-month old son. Johnson and his wife had celebrated their first wedding anniversary the Monday prior to his death. The Notasulga community was shocked by the death of the popular coach. "He taught me to never give up and always keep the faith," Lady Devil softball player Joni Weldon told a local newspaper at the news of Johnson's death. Weldon, who will be a senior this year, was a fre- quent baby sitter for Johnson's son, Preston. the day of the sectional softball tournament ~_past "Coach Johnson had to leave and when[ysu~ decided we wanted to win the s˘'" gr prora gone, we Brtrt~ - ~rt tournament for him," Boman recalled of t~.~.C~ Devils run to the state tournament tstm • .l~LtX)rl[ "Winning it was so special. He was hurt~ to d you could tell it made him fell better." , [our c~ In football, Johnson was the teams d#~dica~ coordinator and offensive line coach. "He was my right-hand man," Sikes said• a big reason we've had so much success. He was a good coach. He always went mile. A big thing we'tl mis is he would carry t home and never complain, and he's lend money at school." Johnson coached the girls softball team four years. Coaching the softball team Johnson met his wife. A memorial service for Johnson was Friday at First Baptist Church in Donations in Johnson's memory may be the Notasulga High School Athletics % ] eeltt e excitement... For Greyhound Racing information, visit our website at http://victoryland.com or e-mail us victoryland@worldaccess.com Exit 22 off i-85 between Tuskegee (Admission 19 and and Montgomery, AL over)