John Sawyer: South Gwinnett High School

John Sawyer

Most of South Gwinnett's baseball history can be attributed to John Sawyer. The legendary coach was inducted into the Georgia Dugout Club Hall of Fame in 2012.

“He isn’t a man to brag about himself, but John Sawyer has saved many a child and helped them grow into responsible adults," former Georgia Dugout Club member and coach Roger Parham told the Snellville Patch newspaper in 2012.

Sawyer retired from South Gwinnett High School after the 1999 season with a career coaching mark of 513-295.

Well-respected by his players and peers, former Parkview coach Hugh Buchanan told the Snellville Patch newspaper, “I have never played against or known a finer man than John Sawyer.”

The Hawkinsville native, who played football and baseball in high school, was offered a pitching position from the Cincinnati Reds after high school. He went to Gordon College on a football scholarship before injuring his knee. He was later picked up by Georgia Teachers College (now Georgia Southern) to pitch before joining the Army after tearing his rotator cuff.

After his military service ended, he enrolled at Piedmont College where he enjoyed a successful career and was later inducted into the school's Hall of Fame in 2012.

He landed at South Gwinnett in 1964 where he coached nearly every sport except cheerleading. Sawyer was most successful coaching football and baseball.

He coached Dixie Youth Baseball for 36 years and went on to coach in the USA Baseball League and the Junior Olympics. His USA Baseball team defeated Cuba and won a gold medal.

The field at South Gwinnett is named in his honor.

Some information in this article was used from the Snellville Patch newspaper.