A Portage Life in the Spotlight: Douglas ‘Doug’ Johnson

A Portage Life in the Spotlight: Douglas ‘Doug’ Johnson

Doug Johnson is the assistant principal and athletic director at Willowcreek Middle School. Johnson jokes he moved to Northwest Indiana temporarily in 1997 when he started teaching geography and history and coaching hockey, golf, and baseball at Lake Central High School.

Hailing from Northern Minnesota, Johnson attended the University of Minnesota Duluth where he majored in teaching social studies and coaching.

After coaching multiple sports at Lake Central, Johnson's love for sports and education continued. Johnson cites fond memories of various role models from his school years when asked what made him choose this career path.

“Well, it's very simple. I enjoyed school when I grew up. I enjoyed the activities that went along with it," said Johnson. "I had some good role models, teachers, and coaches when I was in my formative years, and I thought that I could do what they did.”

After 13 years of coaching sports and teaching at Lake Central, Johnson joined Portage Township Schools, where he's been at Willowcreek for 14 years.

“A big part of my job, in addition to being assistant principal, is being athletic director here at Willowcreek,” Johnson said. “We strive to provide activities with the best possible uniforms and equipment and to represent the Portage community on the athletic field the best way we can.”

Johnson's strong commitment to the children of the Portage community is no shock since he's also a family man who has always enjoyed supporting his children's sports endeavors over the years.

"I've got a daughter who will be attending the University of Notre Dame as a graduate student next year and a son who is currently a sophomore at Olivet Nazarene University. He plays college football and she was a golfer, so following them to their sports has been what I've been doing for probably 15 years now,” said Johnson.

Johnson lives just down the road from Portage in Valparaiso and speaks positively of the community that's embraced him. He continues to be like the teachers and coaches he idolized as a child.

“I just like the hard-working community of Portage. People are very proud, and they want the best for their kids. We get a lot of support in trying to make them the best they can be,” said Johnson.

Johnson's temporary move has turned into a fulfilling, 27-year career where he strives to help children achieve their best and represent the community positively.