Auburn football coach Gus Malzahn has always had a soft spot in his heart for Springdale. Thursday he was back in town to honor a close friend who passed away three years ago.
Kevin Johnson was an assistant under Malzahn at Shiloh Christian and Springdale high schools and died from melanoma in 2011. After his death, Johnson’s family set up a scholarship in his memory. Malzahn thought it was imperative he come back for the third annual Coach Kevin Johnson Memorial Golf Tournament at the Creek s Golf Course in Cave Springs.
“He was one of my best friends in the world,” said Malzahn. “His family is here and I just wanted to support a great cause in his memory. He was a great man of character and a great example for his players and everybody around him.”
“It’s neat to see Gus’s true character,” said Kevin Johnson’s son Evan Johnson. “He took a week out of his busy schedule and came all the way out here to support us.”
The golf outing services as a fundraiser for the Kevin Johnson Memorial Scholarship. Each year a graduating senior from both Har-Ber and Springdale earn the award. This year’s recipients were Cheyenne Mendenhall from Har-Ber and Ruby Juarez from Springdale.