February 15, 1969 - Present
J.R. Johnson began officiating in 1993 and has joined an exclusive group of referees who have officiated at every level the United States has to offer.
He has achieved his greatest renown at the college level with more than 20 years of experience.
Consistently ranked as one of the Top Five officials in the country, Johnson has worked an astonishing 20 NCAA Division I National Championships, making him the third-longest tenured official at the DI tournament.
He has worked the Colonial Athletic Conference Tournament, the Pac-12 Conference Tournament, two College All-Star matches, and the Big Ten Tournament for 20 years.
Johnson has worked and been in charge of assigning officials for the Hokie Open, the Wolfpack Open, the Journeymen Duals and the Southern Scuffle. At the high school level, he has officiated multiple Virginia state tournaments, both AAA and AA, while also refereeing prestigious events including the Beast of the East and the Virginia Duals.
He also works state, regional and national freestyle and Greco-Roman tournaments at the senior, junior and cadet levels. Johnson mentors younger officials, encouraging them and helping them grow in their profession, while also assisting with weigh-ins, pairings and scheduling at tournaments at every level.
He began wrestling in middle school and was a four-year starter in high school, splitting seasons at Mills Edwin Godwin High School in Richmond, Virginia and Hermitage High School in Henrico, Virginia. Johnson wrestled at Virginia Tech University and was a Colonial Conference champion while also competing in high school as a member of Team Virginia in both freestyle and Greco-Roman.
He worked as an assistant coach at both of his high school alma maters and continues to regularly volunteer to assist youth wrestlers.
Lifetime Service to Wrestling