Former Hampton football coach Johnny Palmer, who set the wheels in motion for what became a football dynasty in the 1970s and beyond, will be inducted into E.C. Glass High's inaugural Hall of Fame this weekend.
Palmer, an all-state center at Glass in 1949 and '50, is one of 20 former athletes and coaches who will be honored Friday night game at City stadium. A dinner will be held Saturday night.
After graduating from Glass in 1951, Palmer lettered three seasons at Duke. He was a second-team All-ACC center as a junior. In his final game, the Blue Devils beat Nebraska in the Orange Bowl.
Palmer's first job was at Newport News High, where he was a teacher and assistant basketball coach for Lefty Driesell. In 1965, he became the head football coach at Hampton. He went 48-12-1 in six seasons on Queen Street with one state championship.
Palmer left following the 1970 season (Mike Smith replaced him) and returned to his alma mater. The Hilltoppers went 64-11-2 in his seven seasons. He retired from coaching after the 1977 season with a career record of 123-23-3.
Palmer rejoined Glass' staff as an assistant in 1985. He was scouting a jamboree at Pulaski High when he died at the age of 59.
Others in Glass' inaugural class include former LPGA golfer Donna Andrews, former William and Mary basketball player and coach Bill Chambers, and former NFL lineman Ruben Brown.