Dear Coach W.T. Johnson, I don’t know you, but, man, do I respect the hell out of you. After coming across the name of the Newton High School head football coach today on social media, his story wasn’t one that brought some ol’ tears to my eyes, but it was a reminder about what’s most important in life.
Following Johnson’s group winning the Texas 3A Division II state football championship over Canadian, 21-16, the coach had an opportunity to talk with Fox Sports Southwest. That’s where one of the best postgame speeches you’ll ever hear from anybody occurred, because Coach W.T. Johnson let the world know all the adversity he and his family, school, team and players had to endure through the season.
Diagnosed with what’s called chronic graft-versus-host disease (cGHVD) in 2015 following a lung transplant, per CBS 19, Johnson was told by doctors in August that he had eight months to live, and that he wasn’t expected to coach the entire season, the coach overcame the odds and led his team to a championship. Instead of even trying to describe the speech, I’ll just let you watch for yourself — be prepared to have tissues handy.
This is one of those “I love sports” moments, where you realize that, sometimes, the game’s bigger than winning or losing, but players find something deep inside them to win for a guy like Coach Johnson. It’s awesome, and comes at the time of year where we all appreciate things like this.
The fact that W.T. Johnson was able to be on the sidelines and provide his players with a quick reminder of who and what they play for is awesome. As I mentioned above, I don’t know Coach Johnson, but this type of stuff, when he can lead and inspire others through his own struggles, is something that I respect the hell out of.