The Truth About Shawn Johnson's Husband, Andrew East

Andrew East and Shawn Johnson easily rank among the internet's favorite vlogger-influencer duos. With a strong following on YouTube and a popular podcast, the two athletes have carved out a new place for themselves after closing the chapter on their respective athletic careers. Now, they talk candidly about family, marriage, spirituality, parenting, and the like, with the community they have built online. Much is known about Johnson, a gymnast who clinched gold for Team USA at the Olympics.

But what do we know about East though? The Indianapolis native garnered fame for collegiate athletics, followed by stints with prominent National Football League (NFL) teams. After years on the field, the long snapper announced his retirement from professional football in 2022. "The time has come where there's more important things in my life and when I look at the new goals that I have." He explained, "We're building out a platform where we can hopefully impact thousands of families in a meaningful way. That, to me, is my new mission," East explained in a YouTube video on his channel. 

As he hangs up his boots, let's explore little-known details about Andrew East.

Football is in Andrew East's genes

If you're ever wondering where Andrew East's skill on the field comes from, it would help you to know that his dad's genes could have played a part. East's father, Guy East, was once a footballer too, according to information on the long snapper's website. Guy reportedly played college football when he was at Purdue University. According to the Las Vegas Raiders' official website, Guy — like his son — played the snapper position and scored three letters doing it. Purdue was also where his future wife was a cheerleader.

The athletic couple have five children together, out of which two — East and his brother Guy East Jr. — followed in their footsteps. "Athletics was a major focus for my family," East mentioned, claiming he was inducted early into a variety of sports that ranged from swimming to rugby and, of course, football. He rose from college football at Vanderbilt University in Tennessee to NFL status, starting in 2015, when he was signed on by the Kansas City Chiefs. His final stint before retirement was with the Washington Commanders.

His older brother Guy Jr, meanwhile, is notable as a professional cyclist who has competed internationally.

His first job was as a construction worker

Andrew East's family is big time into construction, so naturally, the first real job he held required him to "build stuff." In a Q&A session for a video on their YouTube channel, after wife Shawn Johnson failed to guess at East's first job, he told her he had worked construction. Guy East Sr., following his collegiate football glory, turned to construction consultancy and "builds homes” now, per East's official website. East's older brother, Guy East Jr., heads Hope Sports, an organization encouraging community-building exercises among athletes through home construction for the needy.

Meanwhile, East's run with the NFL ended with a bang when the Washington Commanders released him in 2019 — just weeks before his and Johnson's second baby was due. "I feel the NFL football has been something that has always taken us out of our comfort zone and it's been really difficult," East said in a YouTube video on his channel. He claimed that for the latter part of his football career, he had been "playing out of obligation," since NFL offered good benefits and a stable income.

Now, after stints in construction and football, East's professional interests have shifted to vlogging. On his website, East mentioned that video editing has emerged as a passion, setting him on a career he "never could have dreamt of." The long snapper is also an entrepreneur, having co-founded Side Hustle Social, which mentors social media users on how to make money online.

Andrew East made a Twitter account specially to contact Shawn Johnson

"@ShawnJohnson I hear you met my brother Guy! Hopefully you can come to Vandy and the Easts could show you what its all about." This was one of the first tweets Andrew East sent from his newly made Twitter account in 2012, as told in a YouTube video about how he and Shawn Johnson met. Taking the cue, Johnson responded. It turns out, she had probably been waiting for a move from East.

Johnson was already an Olympic gold medalist when their love story began. She was at the 2012 games in London, cheering on her cyclist friend Taylor Phinney, when Johnson met East's brother Guy East Jr. Guy was a teammate of Phinney's and a chance meeting with Johnson had him convinced that she had to meet his brother. As she told HuffPost, Johnson said that she was "looking to go to Stanford University and [Guy] convinced me to check out Vanderbilt." He took Johnson's number for his brother and set the two up.

Soon after, Johnson invited East to Los Angeles, where she was a contestant on "Dancing With the Stars" at the time. East was then a college junior studying civil engineering, he said in the YouTube video. Upon Johnson's invitation, he literally up and left in the middle of a class to fly to her. And the rest, as they say, is history!

He proposed to Shawn Johnson before a stadium full of people

Who doesn't fantasize about the perfect proposal? Well, Shawn Johnson got hers when Andrew East got down on one knee on July 24, 2015, before a stadium full of people in Chicago. Johnson, 23 at the time, was at Wrigley Field to throw the ceremonial first pitch for a Cubs game. Just as Johnson walked off the mound, she got the "greatest surprise a girl could ever ask for," as she shared in an Instagram post.

East had initially planned to propose that December, timing the event in sync with his first season of NFL with the Kansas City Chiefs, as shared in a YouTube video. However, an uncle convinced him to do it sooner since East already had the ring in hand. In fact, he told him to do it at the Cubs game the very next day!  

And so, surrounded by cheers from the stadium, East made his romantic proposal to Johnson, telling her, "It would be such an honor to be able to serve you and the Lord together for the rest of your life." Of course, she said yes! The two had been dating for two years until their engagement. They got married in a rustic, intimate ceremony on a farm in Tennessee in April 2016. 

He and his wife experienced a miscarriage before becoming parents

Andrew East and Shawn Johnson are parents to two children — a daughter, Drew Hazel, born in 2019 and a son, Jett James, born in 2021. Their parenthood journey, however, was preceded by a miscarriage in 2017. The couple made the tragic experience public through an emotional video on their YouTube channel.

The pregnancy was an accidental one, a year into their marriage, but Johnson and East embraced it, as she told People. Shortly after Johnson's positive pregnancy tests, she experienced a miscarriage. The event marked a turn in their vlogging style. Up until then, they had been presenting their lives in a "very edited way" to their online family, as Johnson noted. After miscarrying, they "started documenting everything" and sharing more with their viewers. 

While East was reportedly hesitant to go down this route, Johnson felt people would be able to connect with what they were putting out. In a video posted to their YouTube channel after the miscarriage, East told his audience, "We're going to be sharing a lot more stuff just because we realized that it helps to share the story." He noted later, "No matter what you're going through, you're not the only one going through it."

He found out through social media that the Seahawks cut him

During his years in professional football between 2015 and 2019, Andrew East bounced around the NFL, playing for several teams. One of his shortest stints was with the Seattle Seahawks, which signed him in January 2016 and cut him only two months later. Surprisingly, East received information about his release allegedly not through an official notification but via social media. "You guys want to know how I found out that I got released from the Seahawks? Twitter," he claimed in a vlog on his YouTube channel, pointing to a tweet about the news from the NFL team. 

As Seattle Times noted, East had signed a year-long contract worth $450,000 with the Seahawks, but the team waived him a day after long snapper Drew Ferris was signed on. A month later, East was picked up by the Oakland Raiders, only weeks before his wedding to Johnson.

The shift had some impact on the couple's first married year. For starters, they had to fly out to Oakland, where East would begin training the very next morning after their fairytale wedding in Tennessee. The former gymnast told People, "We lived out of a Hampton Inn for four months and we cooked from our hotel room and found our way around Oakland while he was training for the Raiders." Their first year as husband and wife was made of "stressful times," but Johnson said they soon got into the groove of things.

Shawn Johnson's husband follows a unique cleanliness mantra

All you have to be is the second-most messiest person in the house. This mantra is a smart way to ensure the finger is never pointed at you and is also the one Andrew East uses to measure his cleanliness. On an episode of "Couple Things," during which he and Shawn Johnson talked about stuff they wished they knew about each other before marriage, East said this little tip his siblings gave him has been his go-to since college. "If you have five roommates and there's one absolute mess of a person, just be a little bit cleaner than them and you're good to go." Clever, right? Although we are not confirming if the formula is totally foolproof...

In another Q&A video, Johnson gave an elaborate description of how it was living with East. "You rewear clothes to a disgusting extent, and you don't wear deodorant," she told him, not forgetting to add, "You don't clean up trash." East apparently also leaves cabinet doors open around the house and doesn't rinse the almond butter off his utensils when putting them in the sink.

East, too, didn't hold back on the pet peeves he had about Johnson. "Shawn will put empty cans or trash in the sink," East said, adding, "Shawn will clean my vanity, where I brush my teeth, and she won't clean hers. So that's annoying." 

He feels sex is not the most important part of a relationship

A relationship can be many things, but for many couples, sex is a major part of their dynamic. But that's not so for Andrew East. The athlete feels that sex is "glorified" in the mainstream, which is why many people rely on it as the most important part of a relationship, but it's not, according to him. Parenthood, probably, was a factor in ushering in this idea for East.

On a "Couple Things" episode about intimacy, East explained, "We just had a baby so we're not going to have sex probably for a couple weeks for sure, maybe a couple months" — (Johnson interjects to say that the wait would perhaps be longer) — "and that's okay because I can actually appreciate and love you and be intimate with you ... despite us not having sex." This could probably be something as simple as taking on baby duty when it's not your turn. 

Shawn Johnson, in an interview with Us Weekly, said her "favorite thing" East did was "when it's Drew's time to get up in the morning." She said, "He'll turn off the monitor on my phone and shut the doors and turn on a sound machine and just let me sleep in." How sweet!

He is not his own No. 1 priority

Ever since Andrew East became a father, he admittedly ranks low on his own priority list. For him, his wife and kids, daughter Drew and son Jett, precede everything in importance. Reflecting on the challenges that surfaced post-fatherhood, East told People that the shift in perspective came with realizing that his life wasn't just about him anymore.

"Now I'm third on my priority list — it's Drew, my wife, then me. It's a constant battle," he said. The couple's priority together is first and foremost about the protection of their children. "Yeah, there's this tendency to really want to hover over your child ... But at the end of the day, they kind of have to make those mistakes so they can learn," he said.

It wasn't just priority lists that changed after East and Shawn Johnson became parents. The couple revealed they hit some rough patches in their relationship initially after having children. In an interview with Us Weekly, Johnson explained the struggle of "babies [being] a huge stress" on marriage "because you're now sharing your spouse with someone else." Fortunately, by the time their second baby arrived, the couple said they had found their footing in the parenting game.

He once got his legs waxed ... and regretted it

Andrew East is no stranger to his wife's beauty experiments. Shawn Johnson once had him do her makeup, and another time, she plucked his eyebrows as he winced in pain, as videos on the couple's YouTube channel show. In another video from 2017, Johnson waged war on East's "gross man legs," as the title mentioned, armed with waxing tools. Since women, just by being women, experience pain everyday, Johnson thought it "would be fun to give him a little taste of our medicine."

Almost every rip of wax Johnson made was followed by a yelp from East. In fact, they had to put college football on television to get a red-faced East through the experience. On the hair removal front though, this was not a first for East. He revealed in the video, "I do come from a family of cyclists — bikers who shave their legs. So, I've shaved my legs before, I'm not going to lie." He also noted, "I actually know a good number of NFL players that shave their legs too."

After "several tears, many screams, and a lot of unnecessary torture" by Johnson, East said his waxing experience would be on his list of "regrets." Although, he did admit afterward that his legs felt "super slick."

He is a laidback father

Andrew East and Shawn Johnson may have a lot in common — from athletics to vlogging — but when it comes to parenting styles, they read from different pages. In an interview with Us Weekly soon after her firstborn arrived, Johnson revealed she was more of a scheduler, while East was "more the laidback, playful kind" of parent.

This has the potential of causing a little bit of a conflict sometimes, with Johnson feeling her husband doesn't "care enough." East said, as shared by Today, "With Shawn, every time Drew cries it's high alert, we gotta fix the problem immediately, and I'm kind of more laid back."

Despite this, East told People that it was "really hard to fight the urge to step in and try to control everything," but that the mistakes children made would be learning experiences for them. Though fatherhood was "hard and exhausting," it was "also really fun," East said. "It's an honor to be a dad, so don't let all of your worries and stress overshadow the fact that it's awesome."

Andrew East didn't want short kids

Does height matter? To Andrew East, it did. In fact, going by what he revealed in a video during which the couple dished out secrets they had never told anyone, the height conundrum had driven him to even reconsider his relationship with Shawn Johnson. "When Shawn and I were dating, there were two things that made me think for a second that I was going to break up with you," East said. "I was actually worried that you would be too short and ... I didn't want short kids."

Johnson stands at a height of 4'11" while her long snapper husband towers over her at 6'2". East said he soon realized how "stupid" his preoccupation with height was, but that it was interesting to know that "girls are freaking obsessed with how tall guys are." It appears the couple's daughter, Drew Hazel, could quell any anxiety East may still have about their children's heights. In a Facebook video during which they measured their baby, East estimated she was over half of Johnson's height at only seven months.

Yes, we know, we know. You're waiting for East's second thing about Johnson. It was about their dog Nash, around which much of their fights revolved.

Here's how he'd spend a day off

In a Megan Fox and MGK interview-inspired convo uploaded to YouTube, Andrew East and Shawn Johnson sat down for a back and forth of lesser-known facts about each other. Besides getting to know that East had a pet rabbit named Thumper and a cat named Sabrina, fans found out that the football champ loves watching the Zooey Deschanel-led show "New Girl" with JohnsonIn fact, watching the sitcom is likely one way that East decompresses after a long day. Side note: Schmidt is his favorite character.

What else does East's perfect day off look like? Johnson listed out a number of things, including reading, working out, and eating some Chick-fil-A.

Notably, one fixture on the couple's calendar is date night. The time they take away from vlogging and baby duties is something they prize, especially after becoming parents. Us Weekly quoted East as saying, "We do Thursday night date nights [and it's] literally on the schedule. You can see five to nine is date night." For Johnson, date night means "drinking a glass of wine, sitting out by the fire, watching a movie. Just spending good husband and wife time," as he told Life & Style.