Sooners Name Skip Johnson New Head Baseball Coach
The University of Oklahoma announced on Monday Skip Johnson is the Sooners’ new head baseball coach.
Johnson had been OU’s pitching coach last season, in his first year with the program.
Johnson replaces Pete Hughes as head coach.
Hughes was fired last week after four seasons as the Sooners’ skipper.
Before coming to OU, Johnson spent 10 seasons as an assistant coach at the University of Texas, helping the Longhorns to three appearances in the College World Series.
Prior to coaching at Texas, Johnson was the head coach at Navarro Junior College for 13 seasons.
In a press release Monday, Johnson talked about the promotion.
“I’d like to thank the OU Board of Regents, President David Boren, Joe Castiglione and (Senior Associate AD) Greg Tipton for giving me this opportunity to lead the University of Oklahoma baseball program, and for the confidence in me they’ve shown,” said Johnson. “More than anything, I’m honored. 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.”
OU athletic director Joe Castiglione issued a statement as well:
“It’s an exciting new day for Sooner baseball with the hiring of Skip Johnson as our head coach,” said 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.”
Former Texas coach Augie Garrido was also quoted in the press release:
“This is an exciting new era for Oklahoma baseball with the hiring of Skip Johnson. He’s going to bring the core values of the state of Oklahoma itself and he’s going to bring championship baseball back to Norman and the University of Oklahoma. The legacies of Coach (Enos) Semore, Coach (Larry) Cochell and Coach (Sunny) Golloway have all been a part of his own observation and his own development. I sincerely believe all of us in coaching are influenced by the people who we’re surrounded by. He was surrounded by the spirit of Oklahoma baseball and the people in the leadership roles at OU. He’s been on the Texas side of it and so he knows about arch rivals from the inside point of view, and he brings with him a background of championship baseball from when he was head coach at Navarro. I think the fans are going to enjoy the authenticity of his core values system, how he relates to the players, the academic demands he’ll put on them and the results he’ll get both academically and athletically as he provides championship leadership for the University of Oklahoma.”
Johnson will officially be introduced on Tuesday morning at a news conference in Norman.