Not all good players turn into great coaches, but Gary Johnston managed to pull off the career double in rugby.
His formative years playing the sport were in the same neighbourhood: Gordon Head schools, Oak Bay Wanderers and finally the University of Victoria. In 1974 he connected with the club that has been his home ever since - James Bay Athletic Association. Johnston won seven B.C. titles with the Bays through 1981 and represented B.C. and Canada internationally.
He began coaching in 1972, first at the high school level, and later in tandem with JBAA and B.C. junior teams. He founded the annual Boot Game between his Oak Bay Barbarians and St. Michaels, and won six B.C. rugby titles with the Barbs.
In the 1980s, he coached B.C. junior and senior teams to national crowns and coached both national teams during that decade. Mostly retired since 2003, his understanding of the game continues to make him a valuable resource around any rugby pitch.
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