With the Aggies squarely in the Big 12 title hunt, the players on the field may be thinking about nothing more than notching a victory tonight as they march onto Olsen Field against Sam Houston State. Mark Johnson knows that feeling well. Johnson, the current Sam Houston State baseball coach, will be making his first return to College Station since he was leading the Aggies in the 2005 season. He left A&M the winningest coach in Aggie history, compiling an all-time record of 876-431-3 including 13 NCAA tournaments, three southwest conference championships, two big 12 championships, and two trips to the College World Series.
Only 8 years of Johnson's 21 finished without an NCAA tournament run, but was never able to reach the semi-finals in the College World Series. In 1993 he was closest, as the team finished 5th, while in 1999 the team finished seventh.
Coach Johnson's return is greatly welcomed not only by fans, but by Coach Rob Childress, who was mentored as he transitioned into the head coaching role following the 2005 season.
"He is obviously an incredible baseball coach, but he is an even better human being and a better man," Childress said. "He's not been just a friend to me but a mentor. I'm honored to call him a friend, and he's been more than helpful to me since the day I got here at Texas A&M."
"We are looking forward to him coming in," Childress continued. "Coach Johnson is a living legend, both in college baseball and here at Texas A&M. I'm honored to have him back."
After struggling out of the gate in both the regular and conference seasons, the Aggies are winners of 12 of their last 12 games and are still trying to edge out conference leader Texas for the Big 12 crown. They are coming off of a 3-1 week in which they beat 15th ranked TCU and won a hard-fought series against Dallas Baptist.
A&M will look to win its second straight against Coach Johnson, as last year they beat the Bearkats 13-9 in Huntsville. Junior Clayton Ehlert (3-0, 6.32 ERA) will get the start against sophomore Daniel Nottebart (1-0, 3.45 ERA) in what promises to be a good night, not only for baseball, but for the memory of one of the most successful Aggie coaches of all-time.
Johnson Returns to Aggieland
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