Texas high school football coach W.T. Johnston died on Monday after a multi-year battle with lung disease.
Johnston led the Newton Eagles to their second-straight Class 3A Division title in December 2018, just eight months after he was given less than a year to live. He was first diagnosed with lung disease in 2012, receiving a double-lung transplant in 2015, per the Houston Chronicle.
Johnston gave a powerful speech after winning the state title in 2018.
"I’ve been around these guys and their dads and their mothers since 1991. And I told them this would be the last lesson I would ever teach them, is how to live before you die, and where you put your strength and where you put your belief," Johnston told Fox Sports Southwest after Newton won the state title. "I tell everybody—they don’t understand this—I’ve been given a great gift and people just don’t understand that. The gift is I’ve been able to see how my life could affect people before I die. And then these guys, I mean, they’ve touched my life. It’s been a mutual thing. But I’ve been able to teach them a lesson that you don’t get to see most times."
Johnston coached Newton from 2010-19, leading the Eagles to the state title game three times.