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Football: Former El Rancho High Coach Ernie Johnson dies at 87

September 15, 2013|By Eric Sondheimer

Ernie Johnson, a much-beloved former high school football coach at Pico Rivera El Rancho who guided his team to three Southern Section championships in the 1960s, died Sunday at his home in San Juan Capistrano, according to family friend Armie Briones. He was 87.

In 2011, El Rancho's football field was named after Johnson. There also was an "Ernie Johnson Day."

He coached at El Rancho from 1956-1968, compiling a record of 108-31-5. His 1966 team was recognized as a national champion.

"He was king of Pico Rivera," Reggie Fielder, a former player, told the Whittier Daily News in 2011.

Funeral arrangements are pending. His wife, Vicki, was at his side.

eric.sondheimer@latimes.com

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