New Coach Brings Optimism to Longhorns

New W.T. White head coach Tony Johnson thrives in rebuilding situations. He’s certainly facing one with the Longhorns.

A winless season in 2017 led to Johnson’s hiring — albeit a late one — as WTW looks to navigate District 8-6A alongside perennial powers like Duncanville and Skyline.

(ABOVE: Versatile speedster Marcus McClanahan led W.T. White with five rushing touchdowns a year ago. Photo: Rob Graham)

In 26 years of coaching, which includes time in the college ranks at TCU, Johnson has turned around squads that, when he started, were enduring lengthy losing streaks. And while he’s still learning his players’ names, Johnson is confident he can instill a culture change with the Longhorns, too.

“I do really well with rebuild projects,” he said. “Bonham was 0-20 when I started there; when I coached in Kansas, I took over a team that had gone 0-40. I always seem to thrive in city schools where it’s more about culture-flipping. We’ve got some great kids here at White, and there’s been winning here before, so I’m confident.”

Johnson was a late hire from Bonham, where he was 5-26 in three seasons with one playoff appearance. At WTW, he must sort through a roster that’s short on returning talent in terms of numbers, but he’s already seen some good things.

“They’re practicing with vigor,” he said. “We have to find little victories every day. Every day, we need to be a little bit better. Life is intense, so I like to say, ‘Every day is fourth-and-goal.’ Fourth and goal is an intense situation, so if we approach everything like it’s fourth-and-goal, eventually we’ll get some wins.”

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