Testimonials

Coach Mike Krzyzewski

Rich, I am so happy to hear that Act With Respect Always program is going so well. It is certainly making a huge, positive difference in the lives of many students. I applaud you for your efforts.

    Coach Mike Krzyzewski

  • Coach Mike Krzyzewski
  • Winningest Coach in NCAA Division I Basketball History
  • First to reach 1,000 wins
Dottie Pepper

Rich always had respectful and classy kids on his teams…and that standard has only grown as he has moved forward with the Act With Respect Always campaign. Great guidelines for sports, classroom and more importantly, life.

    Dottie Pepper

  • Golf Reporter - Analyst
  • CBS and ESPN
Tim Welsh

I have known Rich for many years. He continues to impress me with his devotion and passion to spread his message of Act With Respect Always. A message for everyone. I wish him continued success.

    Tim Welsh

  • College Basketball Analyst
  • ESPN
Andrew Catalon

“It’s wonderful to see the impact Act With Respect Always has made both regionally and nationally. Kudos to Rich for the energy and passion he’s dedicated to this project. I’m a big fan of AWRA.”

    Andrew Catalon

  • CBS Sports
Leslie Barnes

Rich, Thank you again so much for taking time to talk with our ACTION program. Your message was very well-received and I have no doubt impacted even more than I/we may hear about. I most definitely will be following up about having you back next year—maybe in October–earlier!!

I really enjoyed your demeanor and presence, and hope to share you with more folks that I know around the country at some point too. Keep doing this important and genuine life work!!!!

Again, sincere thanks for working with us and making all this possible!!

    Leslie Barnes

  • Assistant Athletic Director: Student Athlete Development
  • Duke University
  • First Year ACTION Group
Patrica Morris

I always knew I wanted Coach Johns to come our school, ever since I saw him present ‘Act with Respect Always’ at the Middle Level Conference, but it didn’t happen until now. Many thanks to the Prevention Council and Coach Johns for making our September 2015 Wellness Day truly about the impact of being healthy in mind and spirit. Students understood the power of their “99” and how they can make every day count. This is not a one shot presentation; it is a mindset that can change the way students treat each other, adults, and the world around them. Coach- you made an impact on every single member of our school community- thank you!

    Patrica Morris

  • Superintendent of Schools
  • Stillwater (NY) Central School District
Kim Wegner

Thank you Rich for sending a powerful message to our youth, you are making a difference!

    Kim Wegner

  • Coordinator of Enrichment
  • STEM Education & Career Connections
  • WSWHE BOCES, Saratoga Springs, NY
Mark Mulholland

Act with Respect Always is not a catch phrase, it’s a way of life. Rich Johns lives it with passion every day. His work with students and athletes, sharing his message of treating each other with dignity is truly making us better people. I’ve always felt fortunate to have Rich in my corner.

    Mark Mulholland

  • NewsChannel 13 (NBC Albany)
  • Kelly's Angels, Inc.
Robert Loggins

I cannot express my sincere appreciation to you enough for all that you do promoting Respect. No words or actions could better describe what your friendship has meant to me over the last 40+ years than to see you speaking in front my students yesterday. During each assembly, the students listened, were focused, and truly absorbed the message you delivered that will take them to the next level. I appreciate you taking the time to speak to all grades and especially meeting with them afterwards in small groups. It’s truly a blessing to have friends like you, who are always there for the people who need you the most. I want you to know that I cherish your friendship.

    Robert Loggins

  • Assistant Principal
  • Grade 8
  • Maple Avenue Middle School Saratoga Springs, NY
Bruce Potter

Coach Rich Johns makes a compelling case for how we need to engage our youth to become better people. His message is simple and straight forward, presenting with the sincerity which leaves attendees wanting to reach their 99. Our student population is atypical, and life has taught them to be cynical. After an hour with Coach, they now strive to do better!

    Bruce Potter

  • Bruce Potter
  • Superintendent
  • Canaan, NY 12029
Mark Fish

I have had the pleasure of working with Coach Johns in my role as a building Principal, Superintendent of Schools and as the Vice President of the New York State Middle School Association. Simply stated Coach always delivers! His message is powerful and important. I learn something every time I see Coach Johns and Act With Respect Always.

    Mark Fish

  • Superintendent of Schools
  • Greenwich (NY) Central School District
Chris Onorato

The Act With Respect Always program is such a valuable asset to young people as they develop personal and professional relationships. From an athletics standpoint, even to the most competitive individual, respect for the game and the opponent is paramount. Rich is second to none when preaching and practicing these life skills.

    Chris Onorato

  • Sports - WNYT NewsChannel 13
  • Albany, New York
PJ Motsiff

As a teacher Coach Johns found the meaning of life. As he spreads his vision Act With Respect Always message he has now hit full stride in what his purpose is. It has been amazing to watch how Coach Johns has grown the program by simply practicing what he preaches. Having seen him personally deliver his program to elementary school kids, as well as teens and adults the response from participants is always the same…they leave wanting to share their 99% with others.

    PJ Motsiff

  • Owner, Adirondack Soccer Academies
  • Program Director, Camp Echo Lake
Tim Stauffer

In life both on and off the field I believe that respect is one of the most important things that we can give and receive. I believe that the Golden Rule, which states “So always treat others as you would like them to treat you” best sums up how I was raised and how I strive to act each and every day. The Act with Respect Always program is a great tool for our young people to implement in their lives. Coach Johns’ message can and should be implemented in every walk of life. Thank you Rich for all you do.

    Tim Stauffer

  • Pitcher
  • Minnesota Twins
Jimmer Fredette

I learned respect for one another in my home at a very young age. That trait has helped me in the personal aspect of my sports career more than anything.  If you give respect, most likely you will get it in return. This site created by Rich Johns is a great reinforcement of the qualities that you should possess to be successful as a person and in whatever you choose to do with your life. Great site.

    Jimmer Fredette

  • Shanghai Sharks
  • College Basketball - Player of the Year
  • Wooden Award Winner, Naismith Award Winner
Richard C. Harwood

“Rich expects his players to play with respect. He’s a legend in my hometown for this, and it’s something he’s fast becoming nationally known for. Read an article written by Rich Harwood on Act With Respect Always.

    Richard C. Harwood

  • Founder and President of The Harwood Institute for Public Innovation, Bethesda, Maryland
Coach Anthony Weaver

Having lived all over the USA, I’ve always considered myself extremely fortunate to have grown up in Saratoga Springs, NY. My support system at home was always strong, but there was no shortage of support and positive role models once I left for school. Rich Johns was one of those role models. If athletes / students are a reflection of their coach / teacher, there is no doubt the “Act With Respect Always” campaign will have a positive influence on all those who participate. Thank you Rich, for spreading this message.

    Coach Anthony Weaver

  • Defensive Line Coach
  • Houston Texans
Richard Keys

Coach Johns’ message, Act with Respect Always, is applicable in so many ways for both students and adults in our community. Read more from Richard Keys

    Richard Keys

  • Queensbury Middle School
  • Principal
Tim Higgins

In my experience of over 35 years of officiating, when there is respect between adversaries, it’s a better game because the nonsense is nonexistent. The total commitment of both teams and coaches is focused on the game instead of the unnecessary chaos. If somehow this could become the mantra of high school and college sports, moving forward, it could be a better and more enjoyable game for players, coaches, fans, administrators and all others involved in the game.

Act With Respect Always is working hard to spread this important message for all to live by. Thank you Rich.

    Tim Higgins

  • NCAA Division I
  • Basketball Official
Paul Szekely

The Act With Respect Always message of daily awareness, dwelling on kindness and positive behavior is a mission worth embracing! Coach Johns is a true leader in this regard.

    Paul Szekely

Brian Coleman

Following Coach Rich Johns’ presentation I had staff and students developing ideas on how to advance the idea of Acting With Respect Always. It is fun listening to the students ask each other “What is your 99% today?” The students are also asking me! As the principal of the school the AWRA program has made dealing with discipline issues easier because I ask the student what they think their 99% is, following the situation that had them sent to my office.

I can see a difference in the culture of our school already and it has only been two school days since your presentation. You have made a difference in the students and staff of Little Falls Middle School and I sincerely thank you for taking the time to come here.

    Brian Coleman

  • Principal
  • Little Falls Middle School
Bill Brahler

Absolutely fantastic tonight! Love your passion, your message and your kind words. You really had everyone in the rooms attention, it was awesome. I’m a big believer and a huge fan. Not sure why it took so long for me to experience your message first hand, but I was really moved by what you had to say.

I had a tough day mentally with some things eating at me at work. Just like you mentioned to all of us, I was dreading the drive down to Scotia, a lot on my plate. I am so glad to have been there especially after hearing and processing whatyou said, to all of us, at the Donny Dudley Gala. Wow! Awesome.

Thank you Rich. You made many things a lot clearer in my life. You are a great man and true friend. I checked my ego at the door many years ago, but now can focus on “paying it forward”.

    Bill Brahler

  • Head Tennis Professional
  • YMCA of Saratoga
  • Saratoga Golf and Polo Club
David Z. Messner

Thank you for you sharing your “Act With Respect Always” program with our students, staff, and me. Getting to know our school allowed you to personalize your presentations. Your actions modeled your values. While with us, you demonstrated your “pay it forward” theme and it resonated with us. You liberated those who were ready for that message validating the value of living a respectful life and unconditionally helping others. Students, teachers, and parents across the nation will benefit from learning more about your program.

    David Z. Messner

  • Assistant Principal
  • Renaissance Charter School of St. Lucie, Florida
Amy Micallef

I met Coach Johns at the Jimmer Jam Basketball Camp in Saratoga Springs in June. It was definitely more than just basketball for me and my family. So inspiring! I am a better mom, wife and person for meeting Coach Johns and being a part of the camp. Great work!!! Keep Inspiring!!!

    Amy Micallef

  • Warwick, NY
Bruce Levine

Rich, having known you for many years and having the chance to spend several years in Saratoga watching you work; AWRA is no surprise.  It is a welcome and wonderful opportunity for all of us to help and guide today’s youth. Being fortunate enough to have played and coached tennis at the professional level and travel all over the globe doing so; I think the premise and concept that AWRA represents is critical; not just for sport, but for life.  Very few of us will be professional athletes, but we all are part of the world and human race.  We need to be better people, better friends and better communicators and better co-existors.  Keep up the great work and please feel free to call on me to assist you in your mission and help spread the word!  Thanks for all you do for today’s youth and being such a great role model.

    Bruce Levine

  • General Manager at Courtside Racquet Club
  • Technical Advisor for Tennis Magazine and Tennis.com
Lee Taft

If you asked me to choose an ambassador for Act With Respect Always Rich Johns would be my first 10 choices. He embodies character and integrity. I have had the privilege of knowing Rich for the past 30 years and everything he has done from teaching to coaching and community relations has been done with poise, skill, and rightfulness.

Act With Respect Always has never been more important to the development of our sporting society and our humanity. Our Children need to grow up with a daily foundation of how to act in all phases of life. Act With Respect Always will become the cornerstone of a generation of better people in sport and life. This is something I am truly thankful for.

Laurie Hall

“Coach Rich was here last year and we embraced his message, but not all of our students heard him, so we wanted to continue the conversation about respect this year. We wanted to give his program as much support as possible. It’s a great message.”
Coach Johns also encouraged students to stand-up to bullies and finally “live a life of purpose.” “I think the kids feel good after hearing Coach Johns,” said Mrs. Hall. “They carry what he says with them for a long time.”

    Laurie Hall

  • Hudson Falls BOCES
Jamian Rockhill

“Act With Respect Always is more than just a phrase to students at Schoharie Central School. It is the school’s mission and is based on a character education program designed to build respect and leadership, teach positive and constructive behavior, and help stop bullying before it starts, both on campus and off.”

    Jamian Rockhill

  • Athletic Director
  • Scotia Central School District
Renée Young

I have been a teacher for fifteen years in the Shenendehowa Central School District. Character Education is the keystone to any productive classroom. Over the years I have used many different programs in my classroom: “The Democratic Classroom,” “I CARE Cat,” “Bucket Fillers,” “Rachel’s Challenge” to name a few.

The “Act with Respect Always” program gave my students the core character traits needed to be respectful citizens. What puts AWRA above the rest is Rich Johns. His desire to come into the classroom to deliver the message of treating others and yourself with honesty and integrity puts AWRA above all other programs.

    Renée Young

  • Fourth Grade Teacher
  • Arongen Elementary
Vinh Do

“Rich is my role model and inspiration to be a tennis coach. He has taught me many more lessons
than just tennis. I owe my success directly to Rich would be an understatement.”

    Vinh Do

  • Junior Program Director at Fairfax Racquet Club Fairfax, Virginia
  • USTA Mid Atlantic Virginia Coach Of The Year 2007
  • Founder of Thai Tennis Organization in America and Former #1 Player Saratoga Springs High School
Robert Stulmaker

“Rich Johns is a credit to the teaching/coaching profession.  He is dedicated hard working and has always taught and exemplified the life long lessons that you learn in Interscholastic Athletics; accountability, respect, responsibility, citizenship and sportsmanship. Rich is a role model for all students, teachers, coaches and parents to emulate.”

    Robert Stulmaker

  • Assistant Director of the New York State Public High School Athletic Association
Kareem Ghobrial

“Coach Johns is the ambassador for respect. His legacy will not be measured in wins and losses, but rather, by his ability to shape people’s lives off the court. Respect is at the root of his teachings; he demands his players to respect others – but most importantly – themselves. His emphasis on respect sows integrity into the character of his players, and helps them grow to understand their most important possession in life is their reputation.”

    Kareem Ghobrial

  • Former Number 1 Singles Player at Saratoga High School (2002-2005)
Kelly Arthur

“Rich Johns spoke at our Workshop for Girls about coming together as a “team” and how important communication, conflict resolution, acceptance and respect would be if we were going to become ambassadors of peace.  I am forever grateful to him for continuously inspiring kids to not just understand the value of respect but to live their lives practicing it.  The example he sets and the inspiration and motivation he offers kids through humor, common sense, and validation is his legacy.”

    Kelly Arthur

  • Founder and Co-Director: Think Peace Workshop for Girls