Born in Miami, FL in 1964, Patrick Johnston grew up with the traditional sports of Americana culture: crash helmet football, baseball, etc.  He abandoned all for soccer at age 16.   After a professional career in England and the US, he married and settled into the ‘real world’ as a building contractor.  He would spend more time on the soccer fields of the American South while coaching youth than on any job site or office.  In 2009 Johnston found his calling and currently coaches full time at The University of the South in Sewanee, TN.

Johnston has a Bachelor’s Degree from Duke University and a Master’s in Creative Writing from The University of the South.  A freelance photojournalist since 2007, he has multiple articles in magazines including Success in Soccer, Inside Soccer, and Tennis Life.  He’s also a regular contributor to

About PJ


Johnston’s 20-plus years of coaching experience includes stops at Illinois State University, UNC Greensboro, Barry University and James Madison University, among others. He also coached professionally with the New Orleans Gamblers in the A League.

As a player, Johnston was a High School All-American and a member of the U.S. National Youth Team. He played at Duke University and was an All-ACC selection three times. He was selected to the NSCAA All-American Team during his senior season. Johnston went on to play professionally in England for Newcastle United (English First Division) and in the United States for the Miami Sharks, the Maryland Bays and the Miami Freedom (ASL, APSL).

Johnston has been active in youth soccer in the US for over 30 years.  He has coached or served as a Director of Coaching at clubs all across the south and was a Region III ODP staff coach for two different directors.  He is currently a lecturer for the NSCAA and represents the organization in the Club Standards project.  He reviews youth clubs nationwide, assisting them to improve in his role as a consultant.  Johnston is a contributing writer for Success in Soccer and other publications and has traveled abroad extensively in this role visiting professional and amateur academies in Europe and South America.  His focus in his journalism has been the topic of club structure and player development.

Coach Johnston received his B.A. in Economics from Duke University in 1986 and a Masters in Fine Arts from the University of the South and is married with four children, Corinne (25), Nikki (18), Kyle (17) and Robbie (6).

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