Georgia hires LSU's Wes Johnson as head baseball coach

The University of Georgia announced on Monday it hired LSU pitching coach Wes Johnson as the school's head baseball coach.

Johnson has extensive SEC experience from his time at LSU, Mississippi State and Arkansas as a pitching coach. He also brings MLB experience from more than three seasons as the Minnesota Twins' pitching coach.

"We aim to compete for postseason success and championships, and Wes has done that throughout his coaching career at every level, from high school to college and up to the Major Leagues," Georgia AD Josh Brooks said in a statement.

Johnson plans to coach with LSU through the rest of the postseason, Georgia said.

Johnson's career path included two unconventional moves. He became the first pitching coach in MLB history to move directly from a collegiate pitching coach to the league, per his LSU bio, when he joined the Twins in 2019. He also made the rare move of returning to college amid the MLB season when he left to become LSU's pitching coach in June 2022.

Johnson is regarded among the country's top collegiate pitching coaches, and the ability to develop pitching talent and depth was key to his hire. With 30 former players developed into MLB draft picks, Johnson's extensive history in identifying and developing pitching was attractive to Georgia's management, per sources.

Johnson will replace Scott Stricklin, who was fired after failing to reach the NCAA regionals in two of the past three seasons and in six of nine overall seasons that included an NCAA tournament. In 10 years, Stricklin went 121-146-1 in SEC play and Georgia went 11-19 in the SEC this year.

Georgia's lone baseball national title came in 1990. It finished as the College World Series runner-up in 2008, one of six World Series appearances.