Coach Johnnie Means was born in Houston, Texas. He attended Jack Yates High School and went on to further his education at Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He began his career as a Water Safety instructor in 1960 and earned his Instructor Trainer appointment in 1971. Presently Coach Means is the only African-American in the Greater Houston Area Red Cross chapter that holds the post of a Water Safety Instructor trainer. Prior to his appointment, Coach Means successfully started and Amateur Athletic union (AAU) competitive swim program in the early 1960’s.
Coach Means has experienced success in a wide range of personal and professional endeavors. He has served as one of the former Aquatics Directors for the National Youth Sports Program, sponsored by the National Collegiate Association (NCAA) and Texas Southern University (TSU) in Houston for more than 25 years. One of his greatest accomplishments was his devoted service as the TSU Aquatics Director and head coach for the varsity swim team. During his tenure at TSU, he coached All American Collegiate swimmers and one of the top teams in the Nation Association of Intercollegiate Athletes (NAIA).
Coach Johnnie Means presently serves as the director and head coach of the Harris County Precinct One Aquatics Program (HCAP). As special assistant to Commissioner El Franco Lee, Coach Means is a vital part of the program that has been promoting competitive swimming and personal development for their team members for more than seventeen years. In 1992, he was most influential in helping to develop the program into year-round swim sessions through Harris County Precinct One, coordinated with the American Red Cross Greater Houston Area Chapter, at five Houston Independent School District facilities and one Aldine Independent School District facility. The program, when initiated, originally served approximately 300 participants, now serves more than 1,000 per year. A host of HCAP swimmers have moved on to attend college on both academic and swim scholarships. HCAP has produced nationally ranked swimmers and participants in the 2000 and 2012 Olympic Trials.