BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) – Newly hired LSU baseball coach Jay Johnson calls the move from Arizona to the Tigers “my life.”
Johnson was formally appointed Friday to the position for the past 15 years by recently retired coach Paul Mainieri.
“The interest we got from great coaches across the country was significant,” said LSU Athletic Director Scott Woodward. “In the end, Jay’s record of success after the season, explosive lineups and highly ranked recruiting classes separated him from the field. He has made an immediate impact on every program he has led, and he is one of the most energetic, innovative and focused coaches in America. ”
The 44-year-old Johnson has spent the last six seasons in Arizona and twice trained the Wildcats for the College World Series, including this season.
Arizona was the CWS runner to Coastal Carolina in 2016. This year, the Wildcats led the nation in hits and ranked first in Pac-12 in races, hits, doubles, triples, RBIs, trips, stroke averages, by base percentage, slugging percentage, total bases and extra base hits. Their season ended with losses in the first two games in Omaha.
“I am humbled and honored to be the head of baseball at LSU and serve as the manager of the next generation of national champions,” said Johnson, who went on to thank LSU for entrusting him with “leading this great program to its next victory. chapter. ”
Johnson went 208-114 overall in Arizona after going 72-42 in two seasons in Nevada. He also served as head coach in San Diego from 2006 to 2013.
Johnson has also been recognized as a leading recruiter. Baseball America and Collegiate Baseball ranked Johnson’s 2020 signing class as the fourth best in the country.
Johnson succeeds a coach at Mainieri who guided LSU to a national title in 2009 and four other College World Series appearances. Mainieri trained in college for 39 seasons and was inducted into the American Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2014. He announced his retirement before the NCAA Tournament. He then trained LSU to a superregional before the Tigers bowed to Tennessee.