Another blow to Texas Baseball. Associate Head Coach Skip Johnson is headed to Norman to become the Sooners' new pitching coach.
Johnson's exit comes 28 days after the departure of long-time head coach Augie Garrido.
NORMAN, Okla. – University of Oklahoma baseball head coach Pete Hughes and Vice President and Director of Athletics Joe Castiglione announced on Monday evening the addition of Skip Johnson to the program’s coaching staff. Johnson, a longtime assistant at the University of Texas and head coach at Navarro College, will fill the open assistant coach position and take over the duties of pitching coach on Hughes’ staff.
“I am elated to announce the hiring of Skip Johnson. With this addition to our program, we have one of the nation’s most respected recruiters and top pitching minds in our game,” stated Hughes. “More importantly, we are bringing aboard a man of integrity; a true family man.”
“I am grateful for the opportunity Joe Castiglione and Pete Hughes have given me to work alongside them and Mike Anderson to get OU baseball back on the road to Omaha,” said Johnson. “I’ve seen firsthand how Pete runs a first-class program. I look forward to building strong relationships and developing elite student-athletes at the University of Oklahoma.”
Johnson was hired as the pitching coach at Texas for the 2007 season under Augie Garrido, who stepped down from his position as the winningest coach in college baseball last month to take on new duties in the UT athletics department. In 10 seasons, Johnson helped the Longhorns to seven NCAA Regional appearances, four Super Regionals and three College World Series appearances.
Over the last 10 seasons, 32 Texas pitchers have been selected in the MLB First-Year Player Draft, including 14 in the first 10 rounds and three first round picks. Johnson has also overseen the development of six Longhorn pitchers that have made it to the big leagues. The Texas pitching staff produced a team earned run average below 3.00 on five occasions and struck out better than 7.5 per-nine-innings in five of the last eight seasons. As Texas reached its second CWS with Johnson on staff in 2011, his pitchers led the Big 12 in ERA (2.35), batting average against (.198) and K/9 (8.28).
“Skip is a very likeable and loyal person,” began Garrido. “He is one of the best teaching coaches when it comes to pitching and pitching mechanics. He is a tireless worker that is always there for his players. I think his Texas connections and reputation for developing pitchers makes it a great move for Oklahoma.”
Prior to his arrival in Austin, Johnson was the head coach at Navarro College of the NJCAA Texas Eastern Athletic Conference. From 1994-2006, he guided the Bulldogs to 13 NJCAA Regionals, nine TEAC championships and four regional titles, while compiling 450 wins.
He has also mentored a number of players outside of those he coached at Navarro and UT. Johnson regularly works with two-time Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw of the Los Angeles Dodgers and Homer Bailey of the Cincinnati Reds. He’s also worked with Chris Davis of the Baltimore Orioles, among others.
“I am excited for our young, talented pitching staff and the opportunity they will have to be developed by one of college baseball’s most accomplished and knowledgeable teachers,” continued Hughes. “We welcome coach Johnson, his wife Cathy and sons Tyler and Garrett to the Sooner baseball family.”
A standout baseball player at Denton High School, Johnson began his collegiate playing career at Ranger (Texas) College. After a two-year career at Ranger, Johnson moved on to play baseball at the University of North Texas in 1988, where he played one year for the Mean Green before the school dropped its baseball program. He completed his collegiate playing career at UT-Pan American, lettering for the Broncs in 1989 and receiving his bachelor’s degree in 1990. Johnson earned a master’s degree in education from UT-Tyler in 1993.
A native of Denton, Texas, Johnson and his wife, Cathy, have two sons, Tyler and Garrett.