Jay Johnson has decided to leave the University of Nevada to become the head baseball coach at the University of Arizona. Johnson was 74-42 in 2 seasons at Nevada.
He was hired as the manager in June 2013 from San Diego, where he was the associate head coach for the previous eight seasons. Last season, he lead the Wolf Pack to the school's first ever Mountain West regular season title, where they eventually lost in the MW tournament. The Wolf Pack were then left out of the NCAA tournament.
According to Nevada Athletic director Doug Knuth, the two sides had attempted to sign an extension after the season ended, in which both sides believed would keep Johnson in Reno for "a long time". Not long after that, however, Arizona head coach Andy Lopez retired, and Johnson became a frontrunner for the job. Reports of Johnson's hiring hit around 4:30 p.m. PST Sunday night, and soon after that Arizona AD Greg Byrne publicly announced the decision.
Johnson's introductory press conference is set for 1pm PST Monday in Tucson.
Nevada's football coach Brian Polian weighed in on Johnson's decision:
I wish my friend Jay Johnson the best oof luck as he begins his new journey at Arizona - he will be missed in the #WolfPackFamily ,
— Brian Polian (@BrianPolian) June 8, 2015
The Wolf Pack's football stadium gave fans the harsh truth when it comes to coaching at Nevada:
Jay Johnson going to Az is now the Pack's new reality. If successful, coaches will leave Nevada as quickly as possible. Get used to it.
— Chris Ault Field (@MackayStadium) June 8, 2015
It will be hard for Nevada AD Doug Knuth to replace Johnson, who was the 2015 MW Coach of the Year, but Nevada is an attractive job, with a solid core and a history of players being drafted. Knuth looks to find another gem like he did with Johnson two years ago.