Gus Malzahn took a trip back to his home state on Thursday to honor the memory of an old friend.
Malzahn was the “Celebrity Golfer” in the Coach Kevin Johnson Memorial Golf Tournament in Cave Springs, Ark., the prize of an auction that saw him play with the winning team.
Funds from the auction went to fund the Coach Kevin Johnson Memorial Scholarship Fund.
Johnson coached with Malzahn at Shiloh Christian High School and Springdale High School in Arkansas, taking over the head coaching job at Springdale after Malzahn left for Tulsa. While coaching the Bulldogs, he was diagnosed with Stage IV melanoma and Stage IV colon cancer in 2009.
Johnson passed away in 2011.
“He was one of my best friends in the world,” Malzahn said of Johnson. “His family’s here. I just wanted to support a great cause in his memory. He’s a great man of character. He was a great example for his players and everybody around him.”
“It’s neat to see Gus’s true character, that he would take a weekend out of his busy schedule to come all the way up here just to support us,” said Evan Johnson, one of Kevin’s two sons.
The Coach Kevin Johnson Memorial Scholarship Fund is awarded to students who graduate from a Springdale, Ark.-area high school and are going to a two- or four-year college or university.