For the second time in a month, the Oklahoma brass is believing promoting from within is the right call to make.
The university announced Skip Johnson will be OU’s baseball coach, the 10th in program history. Pete Hughes was let go after four seasons last Monday.
Johnson was a prime candidate in the last week, especially following an impressive first year as OU’s pitching coach. Three OU pitches were selected in the MLB Draft last week. Johnson’s help no doubt a benefit to all three.
"It's an exciting new day for Sooner baseball with the hiring of Skip Johnson as our head coach," said athletic director Joe Castiglione. "Once our search got underway last week, we spoke to many people throughout the youth, college and professional baseball worlds about the candidates we were considering, and the information gleaned from those conversations further validated our belief that Skip is the right and the best choice for our program now and going forward.
"Our main focus with any coaching search is making decisions grounded in what's best for our student-athletes and our program overall. Skip emerged as the best candidate and he's diligently prepared for this special opportunity. We obviously got to know Skip this past year as a member of our coaching staff, but we also know about his career of success, his previous head coaching experience and him being mentored by the winningest coach in the history of college baseball, Augie Garrido.
“Skip's been part of championships and he's been to Omaha. That's where we want to be. Knowing the passion he possesses, he will hit the ground running. We're looking forward to officially introducing him as our head coach at tomorrow's news conference.”
Prior to his time at OU, Johnson spent 10 years as an assistant at Texas and Johnson was a key hire for OU’s program last year with a lot of people believing Johnson would eventually become the next coach if things didn’t work out for the Sooners in 2017.
"More than anything, I'm honored,” said Johnson in the press release. “As head coach at OU, I'm going to do everything I can to make our alumni and our fan base very proud. We're going to recruit and develop student-athletes who possess the intangibles and the heart necessary to win conference and national championships, we're going to abide by a set of core values that our players will clearly understand, and we'll have a player program that is going to develop young men on and off the field.
“OU baseball is going to be here for a long, long time, and I'm excited and honored to have the opportunity to leave a positive mark on this tradition-rich program."