The University has named the 10th head coach in the history of its baseball program, and the choice is Skip Johnson. Johnson spent the 2017 season as Oklahoma’s pitching coach.
OFFICIAL: There's a New SKIP in Town. Johnson named 10th head coach in OU baseball history.— Oklahoma Baseball (@OU_Baseball) June 19, 2017
This seemed like a logical choice, as Johnson is a highly-respected coach with a long track record of success. Before coming to Oklahoma a year ago, Johnson was Augie Garrido’s assistant at Texas for 10 seasons. Garrido had the following to say about OU’s hire:
"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 was long tabbed as Garrido’s successor at Texas, but UT instead elected to bring in David Pierce to run the program. Time will tell if the Longhorns end up regretting that decision, but I like the fact that OU now has a coach that likely holds a personal grudge against Texas.
In addition to his college coaching experience, Johnson regularly works with and mentors major league players, including three-time Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw. The Dodger has credited Johnson with his success in the past.
In 2017, OU pitchers under Johnson struck out 531 batters, the fourth most in OU single-season history. His pitchers also averaged 9.26 strikeouts per nine innings, which was good for second in the Big 12.
What do you think of Oklahoma’s hire?
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