Jay Johnson, the UofA’s Head Baseball Coach, is ready for his second season with the Wildcats after finishing 49-24 last year and making it all the way to the National College World Series Championship.
Johnson says there are a lot of good things about being the head coach of the Wildcats.
“I get to wear a baseball uniform to work every day. I’ve grown up my whole life being a part of a team, and I get to be a part of the team every day,” he says.
The Wildcats’ goals this year are to work together to reach their potential. Johnson’s personal goal is to be the best teacher and coach that he can be to help his players develop to be the best that they can be.
Johnson says that he started playing baseball at age 5 and played second base. He wanted to be a coach because his dad was his high school football coach, and he wanted to be like his dad.
Johnson says, “It felt amazing to go to the National College World Series Championship my first year. I am so proud of the players on the team last year for that accomplishment.”
When I asked Johnson what his players learn from being a part of a college baseball team, he notes, “I think my players learn how to be a great teammate and what it takes to overcome failure and achieve goals, and the importance of work ethic.”
The team practices six days a week, 20 hours a week. The players also go to different leagues over the summer across the United States.
The UofA lost 13 players after last season, but have 16 new recruits this year.
Johnson’s advice to young athletes is, “Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t accomplish anything. If you have a dream or a goal you can do it, but to do it you have to work hard, have a lot of focus and a lot of sacrifice.”
The Wildcat baseball team’s season started on Feb. 17 and PAC-12 conference play begins on March 17 against the UCLA Bruins.