High School Sports

Watch as players, Newton community pay their respects for head coach W.T. Johnston

Inspiring Newton head coach told he had 6-8 months to live

Told in March he had only 6-8 months to live, Newton head coach W.T. Johnston talks about his players, life and football following the Eagle's 21-16 victory over Canadian in the Class 3A Division II championship game.
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Told in March he had only 6-8 months to live, Newton head coach W.T. Johnston talks about his players, life and football following the Eagle's 21-16 victory over Canadian in the Class 3A Division II championship game.

Former Newton athletic director and head football coach W.T. Johnston passed away on Saturday after battling Graft-versus-host disease for over three years.

He coached the Eagles to back-to-back UIL state titles.

On Wednesday, players and the Newton community celebrated Johnston’s life at Newton’s Singletary Stadium.

In eight seasons, Johnston went 97-15 with the Eagles, capped off with back-to-back UIL state titles, despite suffering from Graft-versus-host disease (GVHD), which he developed after receiving a double lung transplant in 2015.

Newton went 15-0 each of the past two seasons and won the 3A Division II title over Gunter in 2017. The Eagles held off Canadian, 21-16, in December before 10,032 at AT&T Stadium.

Then Johnston gave Fox Sports Southwest one of the most powerful post-game speeches:

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Born and raised in Hawaii, Brian Gosset graduated from Northern Arizona University with a degree in journalism before coming to Texas in 2014. He’s covered high school sports — yes, pretty much every high school sport — for the Star-Telegram ever since.

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