His name is football as a sternum bruise. His passion for the game, well beyond doubt. For Johnny Feauto, the former quarterback out of Fairview High School, there are goodbyes even on the gridiron.
Adjusting to life out from behind center is never easy.
“To be honest with you, it was one of the toughest days to give up (playing football),” Feauto said. “Since I was 8 years old, I wanted to be a professional quarterback. That’s what I wanted to do with my life.”
Inside the Kansas burg of Salina (named after its salty-tasting river) Feauto has now withdrawn to the sidelines, taking his turn in the coaching ranks.
The decorated high school and college QB said following his 2020 graduation from Kansas Wesleyan University he forwent a chance to play indoor football for the city team to take a graduate assistant role with his alma mater.
He currently serves as the wide receivers coach and recruiting coordinator for the school, a position he was promoted to following the 2021 season.
“I weighed the options of getting into coaching and pursuing a career or try to make it in arena football, which was going to be tough,” Feauto said. “But when I decided coaching is what I wanted, I didn’t look back.”
Feauto became one of Colorado’s most prolific passers while in coach Tom McCartney’s system through his 2015 graduation, posting 6,396 career passing yards and 61 TDs. His college career, a locomotion, followed.
Leaving Adams State after academic ineligibility, he moved to the California junior college Fullerton, then made his final stop at Kansas Wesleyan.
At Fullerton, he got his grades in order and was part of the 2017 JuCo national championship team that went 13-0. At KWU, he went 25-2 as the starter while leading the Coyotes to back-to-back Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference titles.
As part of his two-year tenure at the Salina school, he was named the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference offensive player of the year in 2018, and the conference’s POY in 2019. He holds school and conference records for passing yards, touchdowns and passing efficiency in a season.
“For me, it was about growing and learning from my mistakes,” Feauto said, his jumbled football journey now the backbone of his coaching persona.
“When I was a freshman, you couldn’t tell me anything. It was just, whatever, I’m going to play football, and do whatever, I don’t care what you have to say you can’t tell me anything,” he added. “Well, you’re not going to be successful that way. You have to, have to, have to work hard at everything to get on the field and to make an impact.”
When asked about his dual roles at Kansas Wesleyan, he said he enjoys recruiting, though where he really thrives is teaching players on the field. One day he dreams of coaching quarterbacks.
Because for Johnny Fairview Football, he’s not saying farewell to this game anytime soon.