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Nevada Wastes No Time in Signing New Baseball Coach

The Wolf Pack Announced the signing of their new baseball coach who will take over for retired Gary Powers. Jay Johnson heads north from San Diego where he was an assistant with the San Diego Toreros of the WCC.


College baseball is quite different from both football and basketball. Why is that you ask? Well, some coaches can go an entire career having a mediocre record and last thirty or more years at their position. Mediocre records are not tolerated in the other sports. Money also plays a role here. College baseball doesn't generate much. There are exceptions such as the teams from the SEC and a few in the Big 12. Out here in the west interest is minimal. Because of that athletic directors are willing to keep a coach as long as he doesn't bring negative press to the school.

Every once in awhile a coach retires or is let go after many years of service and much in the way of salutes should be warranted. San Jose State's Sam Piraro left after 20 plus years. He had some WAC championships and a trip to the College World Series in his resume. Not bad. Wichita State's Gene Stephenson was fired recently after 30 plus years. His resume has a national championship and numerous MVC championships. I've been to Wichita and drooled over the facilities they have there. I'd have to attribute that to the success he had in all his years as the head man.

Recently Nevada announced the retirement of Gary Powers as the head coach of Nevada baseball. He is another that can claim over thirty years at the reins of Wolf Pack baseball. It didn't take long to announce the heir to the position. On June 28, 2013 it was announced that Jay Johnson would be the new head coach.

Coach Johnson comes from an extremely successful program at San Diego where they always expected to win in the WCC as well as compete in a NCAA regional each year. He was the Toreros' hitting coach and, if you follow the WCC as I do, you know that that program has always been able to hit and hit with power. Think Kris Bryant. He also was recruiting coordinator and his classes were always the best in the WCC and the nation's best in 2008 and second best in 2010. You have to remember that is being compared to programs such as LSU, South Carolina, Texas, UCLA, and the list goes on. The point I'm making here is that his efforts showed a small school such as San Diego can compete with the big boys in recruiting and San Diego did that on a regular basis. He is already working on recruiting for the Pack as he has talked to two top recruits. Devonte German (RHP/OF) and Mark Nowczewski (RHP) were both drafted and are unsigned as of 6/30/2013. Devonte was drafted in the 11th round and Mark in the 27th. If both of these decide to become a part of the Nevada baseball program, the Nevada recruiting class automatically becomes the best in the MWC (that's me talkin').

The Wolf Pack is not a step up in programs for Johnson and I say that as a complement. He comes from a very good program in San Diego and comes to another good program in Nevada. The difference for Johnson is that he will be the head man and that is a step up. Nevada should be more than pleased in getting this guy to lead the way. It may take a year or two but expect recruiting success to improve at Nevada. Oh, they might start hitting a bit better too.