Longtime Beatrice athletic director receives prestigious award

Dan Johnson, former Southeast Community College athletic director and current instructor, received the George E. Killian Award of Excellence at the 2022 National Junior College Athletic Association Convention in Birmingham, Alabama, on April 13. The award is given to individuals dedicated to the ideals of volunteerism, achievement, service, leadership, and excellence.

“It is a great honor to receive the George E. Killian Award, and when I look at the others who have received it from the past, I felt humbled,” Johnson said. “I am grateful to my peers for thinking of me regarding this recognition.”

Johnson’s career at SCC has spanned nearly 40 years. He started in 1983 when he took over from Dana Altman as the men’s basketball coach at Fairbury Junior College, which later became part of SCC. A few years later the College was moved to Beatrice, and the role of athletic director was added to his list of duties. He also served as the men’s golf coach. 

During his tenure as AD, the department expanded from four sports to 10, the latest additions being men’s and women’s soccer in 2020. He stepped down from the AD role last fall, and is now faculty and chair of the social science department on the Beatrice Campus.

He has served as NJCAA Region IX men’s director since 2007. Johnson said this was the first NJCAA meeting that he missed, when he found out he received the award.

“I had all of these texts congratulating me on the award from Birmingham,” he said. “It was never on my radar that I would receive this award, and needless to say I was flabbergasted. After all, I received an award for just doing my job.”

The George E. Killian Award is open to all regional directors, assistant regional directors, coaches association presidents, presidential representatives and officers with a minimum of two years of service to the NJCAA. Two recipients are named annually, and a $500 stipend is awarded to the recipient’s region.


Andrea Gallagher
Communications Specialist