Will Miss Cocky Stay or Go?

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By Crandall Sims

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WOLO) -- Caroline Johnson, wife of Ellis Johnson, the new Southern Miss. Head Football Coach and former Assistant Coach of Defense at the University of South Carolina, opened her clothing store Miss Cocky back in 2009 with the help of a childhood friend.

The decision on whether to continue with the store after her husband accepted the Southern Miss. job was something she says she went back and forth on. But in the end, she says she knew she wanted to stay involved with Miss Cocky.

"The reality of it is, my husband is a coach and you don't stay anywhere forever, says Caroline Johnson, co-owner of Miss Cocky.

Caroline Johnson says that is what she took into consideration, when she and her childhood friend, Mandy opened Miss Cocky.

That along with other things.

"I told Ellis, I said ok, we are either going to have another baby or we are going to open up a store for the Gamecocks because I need something to do," says Johnson.

And so she and her friend, Mandy did just that.

"Mandy and I put a lot of sweat and tears and stuff into it," says Johnson.

Since opening, Caroline says her customers are her favorite part of the job.

"We know their name, we know their grandkids," says Johnson.

But, just as things go when you're a coach's wife, it's now time for Caroline and her family to move on.

"I think the hardest thing about leaving, other than leaving my mother, is going to be leaving Miss. Cocky," says Johnson.

Caroline says her husband's decision to leave for the Southern Miss. job did not surprise her.

"This was something that I've always known was a possibility it didn't come out of left field," says Johnson.

Their children, not so much.

"When Ellis went to leave, our daughter hugged him and said good luck and our boys hugged him and said, bad luck," says Johnson.

While the Johnson's may be leaving, Caroline says Miss Cocky isn't going anywhere.

"This will give me a reason to come back every so often and check on things," says Johnson.

Caroline also says she will not be opening a store in Southern Miss.

"No, and the reason is, my mentor kind of in the business already has one there," says Caroline.

But for now, Caroline says her focus is her husband.

"He's happier than I've ever seen him be, so I'm going to support him and do what he wants to do," says Johnson.

She also says this isn't the last Columbia will see of the Johnson family.

"This is Columbia it's always been home and it will be, we're going to miss it, but we will be back," says Johnson.


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