Chad Johnston enjoys his everyday life as a dermatologist in Blacksburg, but come Sunday he will be amongst thousands and thousands of West Virginia fans at FedEx field to watch Virginia Tech and his alma mater renew a rivalry that many people thought was dead. Yes, he graduated from WVU and had a little say in its football legacy.
Johnston quarterbacked Peterstown to the West Virginia Class A crown in 1991 and was recruited by both WVU and Virginia Tech. He admits he came very close to wearing maroon and orange. But in the end, he chose WVU.
During his career, he became one of the school’s all-time greatest passers while leading the Mountaineers to two bowl games. After graduating, he spent time with the Carolina Panthers and later the Arena League’s Orlando Predators.
Earlier this year, Johnston was inducted into the West Virginia Coaches Association North-South Football Classic Hall of Fame.
Johnston started 33 games as quarterback for WVU from 1993-1996. The 6-3, 220 pound quarterback from Peterstown played sparingly his freshman year, completing 10-of-15 for 114 yards and two touchdowns.
The following season, he would go 124 for 242 passing with 1,863 yards and 16 touchdowns. His junior year, the team was 5-6 as the signal caller completed 127-of-248 passes for 2,019 yards, 13 touchdowns and 13 interceptions.
As a senior, he served as team captain leading the Mountaineers to an 8-4 record that ended with a loss in the Gator Bowl. For his career, he finished with 5,964 passing yards at WVU with 43 touchdowns and 428 completions. He still ranks sixth all-time at WVU in that final statistics and fifth in touchdown passes.
In three contests as a player, he was unable to beat the Hokies and he remembers those games fairly well.
“I got to know Cornell Brown (former Tech defensive lineman who was in the back field a lot when the two schools played) up close and personal,” Johnston joked.
After his playing career ended, he pursued a medical career that led to him back to familiar stomping grounds, bringing him back home to Peterstown and to the home of the Hokies. He opened River Ridge Dermatology in 2011 with offices in Blacksburg, Narrows, and Roanoke.