A 1930 graduate, Johnny Brickels was a football, baseball and basketball star, and later football coach at New Philadelphia, Ohio. He coached Huntington, West Virgina High School to the state basketball championship, and later was basketball coach at West Virginia University. In 1945, he helped Paul Brown start the Cleveland Browns, and four years later went to Miami University in Oxford as head basketball coach. He was named athletic director in 1950 and served that post until his death in 1964.
Brickels is a member of the Ohio High School Coaches Hall of Fame, the National Football Foundation Hall of Fame, and the Miami University Hall of Fame.