Arizona was as disappointed as expected after its loss to Coastal Carolina on Thursday, but the general theme was that the Wildcats also had plenty to be proud of.
“Extremely sad right now,” Jay Johnson said. “Obviously the result, this is a national championship-caliber group that we had. They proved it for 73 games.
“I'm very disappointed that I don't get to coach them anymore. It’s very difficult. We're a very tight group. We'll get through it together. Stings pretty bad right now.”
When discussing Cody Ramer, Johnson got emotional.
“I haven't got a chance to express how I feel about these guys yet, which I will, but it starts right there with him for me,” Johnson said.
“I mean, if I ever have a son and he's half of what he is as a person, a player and a competitor, I'd be extremely proud. I wish I could coach him every year of my life.
“Somebody told me a story like he was almost red-shirted a year or two ago or something like that and made it worse. I love him with everything I have.
“He was the best player in the Pac-12 this year. Nobody meant more to their team. I think the Angels drafted him. There's a sneak Big Leaguer in there, and I can't wait to watch him.”
Looking at the big picture, Johnson did not hold back when discussing how well Arizona played this season.
“Well, to put it in perspective, I mean, this is the best five weeks of my life,” he said. “I don't want to say goodbye to these guys, because, I mean, it's -- what you saw was great baseball really for the whole year.
“We won more games than any team at the University of Arizona in the last 30 years. You have to go back to the 1986 national championship team to find a team that won more games.
“It's very gratifying based on where we started, and I'm so proud of them and I'm very -- I couldn't be more pleased at the foundation that was set.
“You guys think I'm talking about winning and Omaha run and all that, that had nothing to do with it. I'm talking character, work ethic, improvement on a daily basis, heart, courage, competitiveness. It just goes on and on. I'm very proud of these guys.”