Jay Johnson, the reigning Pac-12 Baseball Coach of the Year who led Arizona to a conference championship and a berth in the College World Series in 2021, has been named the head coach of six-time national champions LSU, director of athletics Scott Woodward announced Friday.
“LSU Baseball is the premier program in the nation, and the interest we received from great coaches across the country was significant,” Woodward said. “Ultimately, Jay’s track record of postseason success, explosive lineups, and highly-ranked recruiting classes set him apart from the field. He’s made an immediate impact at every program he’s led, and he’s one of the most energetic, innovative, and focused coaches in America.”
Johnson will be introduced at Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field on Monday, June 28, beginning with a press conference open to media only at 4:30 p.m. in the Champions Club. Fans are invited to watch a live stream of Johnson’s press conference on the video board inside the stadium and remain after for an on-field Q&A following his remarks to the media.
“I am humbled and honored to be the head baseball coach at LSU and serve as the steward of the next generation of national champions,” Johnson said. “LSU is a phenomenal University and athletics department, and I am very thankful to Scott Woodward and Stephanie Rempe for entrusting me to lead this storied program into its next winning chapter. I view this as the opportunity of my lifetime and will do everything in my power to have our team playing a brand of baseball that makes everyone at LSU, the Baton Rouge community, and the entire state of Louisiana incredibly proud. Geaux Tigers!”
The architect of college baseball’s best offense in 2021, the 44-year-old Johnson led Arizona to two College World Series appearances – including a Championship Series berth in 2016 – over five full seasons, regularly producing the nation’s most potent lineups and signing top players from across the country.
After landing college baseball’s No. 4 recruiting class in the fall, Johnson’s 2021 Wildcats smashed their way to Omaha in the spring, leading the nation in hits and ranking first in the Pac-12 in runs, hits, doubles, triples, RBI, walks, batting average, on base percentage, slugging percentage, total bases, and extra base hits.
Overall, Johnson’s Wildcat teams finished first in the Pac-12 in hits, runs, and on base percentage in four of his five full seasons, while leading the league in slugging percentage, on base percentage, runs per game, and batting average in three seasons. And in each of his final two full seasons, the Wildcats topped the league in hits, walks, runs, runs per game, slugging percentage, on base percentage, and batting average.
A native of Oroville, Calif., Johnson becomes the 26th head coach in LSU baseball history, succeeding Paul Mainieri, who retired after the 2021 season. Johnson and his wife Maureen, a former University of Arizona soccer player, were married in 2016.