LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The head football coach at Waggener High School spends endless hours on the field with his players, but he spends just as much, if not more, time working with them to get them into college.

The man behind the plays and the man behind the grades is Jordan Johnson.

“A lot of our kids, without football, without the football money, wouldn't have an avenue to go to college,” Johnson said.

But they also need to be serious academically.

“He keeps the players first in his mind," senior Manny Harper said. "He would rather see us go off to college than success for himself."

Harper and fellow senior Tahj Rice are both going to college on full scholarships to play football. Harper is going to the University of Kentucky and Rice to Duke University.

“I promise you, if Coach Johnson didn't take me there, I wouldn't have went,” Rice said.

In addition to taking players on college visits, Johnson also helps with FAFSA, ACT prep and much more. Now, he's recruiting mentors to help with the growing job.

“Try to bring back in former players and community role models to help us with that so we can attach one to each kid,” Johnson said.

When he became head coach three years ago, he had 18 seniors on the team. Only four were eligible to go to college because of their grades. Fast forward to today, and all 13 seniors have the grades to go to college. Three have full rides and another six have partial scholarships. But it's a whole lot more than just football.

“I'm trying to build young men to be good husbands and fathers one day,” Johnson said.

If you'd like more information about the mentor ship program you can email Coach Johnson at jordan.johnson@jefferson.kyschools.us

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