Johnny Wright Named Birmingham News
Metro Coach of the Year
To say that Coach Johnny Wright has had a tremendous
impact on Dora High School would be a gross understatement. Coach Wright
came to Dora after 14 years at Sheffield and turned our team around.
The Bulldogs had won only one game in the two years prior to his arrival.
Coach Wright focused on bringing discipline and a renewed sense of commitment
to the team and it paid off. His first year at Dora, the team went 4 and
6. The next year (2002), the Dawgs went undefeated in regular season play
and lost in the third round of the state playoffs.
This year, Coach Wright suffered cardiac arrest during the first game
of the season against Cordova as stunned player and fans watched in horror.
|Wright remembers feeling a bit disoriented before
the game, but figured he was tired due to the long hours spent in preseason
"I yelled out to one of the kids, then I got really dizzy," said
Wright, whose father died of a heart attack at the same age. "I took
a knee to try to gather myself and the last thing I remember was seeing
the visitors' lights."
Emergency personnel and his doctor used a defibrillator to shock Wright's
heart back to life. It took three attempts to restart his heart.
"I opened my eyes and was wide awake," Wright recalled. "I
thought I had passed out and embarrassed myself in front of all those people.
I saw my doctor over me and told him I knew where I was and I was all right.
He told me I had a heart attack and I started thinking about my dad."
Doctors never found the cause, but told Wright it was as though his electrical
system powered by his heart shut down. He now wears a portable defibrillator
under the skin above his left breast plate if it should happen again.
The suspended game was resumed that Saturday with Dora winning and Wright
returning to watch practice the following Thursday. He coached from the
press box the next four games then returned to the field.
The Bulldogs went on to be undefeated in regular season with the best offense
in the state. Dora averaged 50 points per game during regular season but
were eliminated in the second round of the state playoffs by Rogers.
Coach Wright was named The All-Metro coach of the year by The Birmingham
News' prep sports staff with nominations from metro coaches.