“Red” had distinguished careers in the military and athletics. He graduated from Linsly Institute, Wheeling, WV, with the rank of Lieutenant. He excelled in sports, especially at football and was a Mid-Valley All-Star lineman.
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He graduated from Western Reserve University earning a B.A. in Economics and Business Administration and later earned his Masters in Education from the University of Pittsburgh. “Red” was a four year starter for the Red Cat’s offensive line.
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He played in the 1938 Sun Bowl in El Paso, Texas and was an outstanding kicker.

He was drafted by the NFL Detroit Lions but opted to enlist in the U.S. Army in 1941. He served in both the European and Pacific theaters during World War II, stationed in England, France and the Philippines from 1942 to 1946, attaining the rank of Major. He Served in the Army Reserve until his retirement in 1978 with the rank of Lt. Colonel.

After World War II, “Red” began his coaching career; he started at Cambridge, OH and then to Triadelphia High School in West Virginia with Emil Dupke. In 1950 he joined Dupke on the coaching staff at Washington High School, where he was the head line coach for 22 years. His record at Washington High School as Dupke and Johnston’s head line coach was 131-54-5 for an outstanding winning percentage of .703. “Red” was considered one of the top line coaches in the WPIAL. He was the head Junior High Track Coach from 1950 to 1958 and was a long time PIAA Basketball official.

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