Pickleball Champ

When back surgery forced Dick Johnson (BS '64) to give up amateur tennis 25 years ago, this BYU alum and former Idaho state tennis champion stayed busy with his career, church callings, and community service...not to mention keeping up with his 15 grandchildren! Now that he’s retired, Johnson has returned to the court—this time competing in the athletic phenomenon known as pickleball.

A mix of tennis, badminton, and table tennis, played on a court three-fourths the size of a tennis court, pickleball has proved to be physically demanding and uniquely rewarding for Johnson. Last year, at age 75, Johnson won state pickleball championships in Idaho, Arizona, Oregon, and Nevada before becoming a national champion. Johnson earned a total of nine medals in 2015 (three gold, three silver, and three bronze) at the sport’s major national tournaments: the Huntsman World Senior Games, the USAPA Nationals, the National Senior Olympic Games, and the National State Games of America. 

Johnson has also picked up his tennis racquet again in recent years, winning three gold medals in tennis at the Idaho Senior Olympic Games. Way to go, Dick! 

Full Name: 
Richard Johnson
Grad Year: 
BS 1964
Recreation Management
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