Shelby Johnson was a champion hurdler at both the high school and college levels. A three-year varsity letter winner in track and field at Taylor Center High School, Johnson earned All-State honors twice in the 330-yard hurdles and was a state champion and high school All-America in the event in 1978. He also excelled at high school football.
At the University of Michigan, Johnson earned All-Big Ten honors in indoor and outdoor track and field all four years. He was All-America in the 400 intermediate hurdles, was Big Ten champion in the 60-yard high hurdles and was an NCAA finalist. Since college, Johnson has been a high school teacher and coach. He has coached track and field, cross country, football, and swimming at several area schools. Since 1996, he has been a mathematics teacher and administrator in the River Rouge School District.