Newton Coach W. T. Johnston to retire April 1

NEWTON, TX (KTRE) - An East Texas high school football coach who led his team to two state championships, all the while battling a chronic lung disease, has announced his retirement.

Newton’s Coach W.T. Johnston has confirmed that he will retire as of April 1, 2019.

For years, Johnston’s health has been hampered by lung issues. In 2015, Johnston received a double lung transplant and that is when he developed chronic host-versus-graft disease which makes it nearly impossible to breathe at times.

Last year when the team made it to state, Johnston was not sure if he would be there. The following spring, Johnston was told he did not have much time to live.

Coach Johnston with team (Source: KTRE)
Coach Johnston with team (Source: KTRE)

“The doctors told me I had eight months,” Johnston said. “I had been told that before but this time it was more real and I could see it happening.”

The school is home to five state championship teams. Two of those coming the past two seasons with Johnston as head coach.

Coach Johnston has not said that his health has deteriorated further, and has not yet confirmed the decision’s cause.

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