Saints hire local gridiron legend

Published 10:17 pm Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Nansemond-Suffolk announced long-time Western Branch football coach Lew Johnston as its next football coach Wednesday.

Johnston replaces Kevin Allen, who coached the Saints for two years before resigning following the 2010 season in order to move closer to his family in Richmond.

Johnston began coaching at Western Branch in 1972. He was an assistant for 12 years before becoming the Bruin head coach until 2006.

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As head coach, Johnston totaled a 163-65-3 record. The Bruins won Southeastern District titles in 1997, 2001, 2002, 2003 and 2006.

In his playing days, Johnston played at Great Bridge High School and for Lou Holtz at William and Mary in the late 60s and early 70s.

“We are thrilled to have a coach of Lew Johnston’s caliber join the Nansemond-Suffolk Academy family,” said NSA athletic director Betty Jean Riddick. “Johnston will bring a wealth of knowledge, experience and excitement to our football program.”

Johnston is teaching and coaching at Jolliff Middle School in Chesapeake this school year. He will continue there until June.

Johnston’s recognized as an expert on the Delaware Wing T style offense.

The Saints were 9-3 and won the VIS state championship in 2009, Allen’s first year. NSA was 4-6 last season. Johnston is the fourth head coach in six seasons for the Saints.