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Ed Johnson

Coaching ∙ Blackhawk

 

 

 

 

Because they compete against spectator sports like football and basketball, high school golf coaches rarely get famous. Ed Johnson was an exception. Ed coached golf teams at Northwestern and Blackhawk High Schools that accumulated a 297-47 record, including 30 section championships, eight WPIAL championships, four WPIAL runners-up, and two WPIAL semifinalist teams. His coaching career at Northwestern covered the years 1963 to 1972 and at Blackhawk from 1973 to 1985. While his boys’ teams at Northwestern and Blackhawk chalked up a combined total of 187 wins and 39 losses, it was as coach of the powerful Blackhawk girls’ golf teams that Ed had his greatest success, compiling a 106-8 record. His Blackhawk girls’ teams won seven WPIAL golf titles from 1974 to 1985 and were runners-up four times. Blackhawk superintendent of  Jack Fullen paid the ultimate tribute to Coach Johnson: “Ed was to golf what Larry Bruno of Beaver Falls was to football and what Ed Olkowski of Midland and Ed McClusky of Farrell were to basketball.” Ed Johnson was also an outstanding golfer in his own right. A native of Fairmont, West Virginia, he was the No 1 player on the West Virginia University golf team in 1941 and 1942. After service as a Marine pilot in World War II, he played on the Ohio State University golf team in 1946 and 1947 and set a course record of 31 on the par 35 Fairmont course. He was also a consistent winner at the Beaver Valley Country Club for many years. Ed Johnson died in 1985 at age 65.