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Admirals Name Billy Johnson New President

November 26, 2021 - ECHL (ECHL) - Norfolk Admirals News Release


NORFOLK, VA. -- The Norfolk Admirals, proud ECHL affiliates of the Carolina Hurricanes, have officially named Billy Johnson as their new team President.

Johnson is a veteran of professional sports who led the startup of the ECHL's Las Vegas Wranglers and navigated the organization as President and Chief Operating Officer from 2003 through 2014. Under Johnson, the Wranglers became the most prominent professional resident team-sports organization in Las Vegas's history. Johnson was nominated four times for the ECHL's Executive of the Year Award.

Johnson is known for out-of-the-box promotions and marketing and was the creative spark for the team's highly anticipated Midnight Games, The World's First Indoor Outdoor Game, and Regrettable Tattoo Nights. He sparked several high concept one-off-themed promotions that often satirized current events, pulling the team from the sports pages and into the news headlines. Johnson cites Chuck Barris-a prolific game show producer and host of The Gong Show-as an entertainment and public engagement influence.

Before hockey, Johnson enjoyed a storied minor professional baseball career at all levels. He led the startup Nashua Pride in the independent Atlantic League in 1998. As Vice President and General Manager, he was awarded the league's 2000 Executive of the Year award for attendance increases and building the 2000 Atlantic League championship team with owner Chris English and field manager Butch Hobson.

He's received two 40-Under-40 awards: The inaugural New Hampshire 40-Under-40 in 2002 and 2005 in Las Vegas.

He has a journalism degree from the University of Kentucky and wrote and published a novel, "If I Die Tell Steve Martin I Found His Journal" (2014). He has been a featured columnist and blogger for numerous news organizations, most recently featured in the Las Vegas Sun as "Ice Ice Billy: Mostly Random Nonsense" (2011 to 2015).

Since the Las Vegas Wranglers, Johnson has worked in the tourism space as a territory President and overall Sr. Vice President of Marketing for an adventure tour company with operations in the Southwest and Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.

Johnson began his career as the mascot "Billy Bird" for the Louisville Redbirds (AAA, St. Louis) in 1988 and was coached and costumed by The Famous Chicken. He has a 14-year-old puggle named Kimi Raikkonen, named after his favorite Formula 1 racing driver.


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