University of Nevada, Reno Director of Athletics Doug Knuth announced today that Jay Johnson has been named the head baseball coach at Nevada. Johnson spent the last eight seasons as associate head coach at the University of San Diego. He will begin his duties at Nevada on July 1.
"Through the interview process I was impressed with Jay's commitment to academics and building relationships within the community," Knuth said. "I felt he is the coach that will have the Wolf Pack competing at the highest level possible."
While at San Diego Johnson helped the Toreros make six trips to NCAA postseason (2006-08, 2010, 2012-13) and capture four West Coast Conference titles in 2007, 2008, 2010 and 2013. He coached the 2013 Dick Howser Award winner which honors the college baseball player of the year in third baseman Kris Bryant. Bryant, a native of Las Vegas, was the number two selection in the 2013 MLB Draft by the Chicago Cubs.
"I could not be more excited to become the head coach at Nevada," Johnson said. "I'm grateful for the opportunity that Doug Knuth, Senior Associate Director of Athletics Keith Hackett and all those involved in the search process have given me. My goal is to make the University of Nevada baseball program a place where the top young players on the West Coast can come and work toward their dream of becoming Major League Baseball players and earn a degree from one of the finest Universities on the West Coast."
Johnson served as USD's hitting coach and recruiting coordinator. He helped recruit USD's 2008 class, which was ranked number one in the nation by Baseball America. The Toreros 2010 recruiting class was ranked second in the nation. In six of eight seasons the Toreros ranked first in the WCC in overall team hitting.
In 2007 and 2008 the Toreros posted back-to-back 40-win seasons including a school record 44 in 2008. The 2012 squad recorded the third 40-win season in school history. The 2008 USD team finished second in the Long Beach, Calif. regional and the 2013 club was send in the 2013 Los Angeles regional. Both times the Toreros finished second in the regional to the eventual College World Series Champions.
Prior to USD he was the head coach at Point Loma Nazarene leading the Sea Lions to a number six NAIA ranking and a 37-16 record in 2005. While and assistant at PLN in 2004 the team won a school record 47 games and finished third at the NAIA World Series.
Johnson earned a degree in physical education at PLNU in 2001 and later acquired a master's degree in physical education at Azusa Pacific University.
Fans interested in purchasing baseball season tickets may pay a $50 deposit by contacting the Nevada ticket office at 775-348-PACK.