Wes Johnson

From BR Bullpen

Wes Johnson

  • Height 5' 7"

Biographical Information[edit]

Wes Johnson started his coaching career at the high school level. From 1997 through 2002 he was an assistant coach at Sylvan Hills High School. He followed that with a single season as an Arkansas Baptist High School assistant coach. In his next position Johnson moved up to a head coaching role with Abundant Life School, a private school located in his home town. He coached the Owls from 2004-2007 before moving up to the college coaching ranks.

In the ensuing years Johnson found pitching coach jobs with increasingly more prestigious college programs. He started with the University of Central Arkansas in 2008 followed by the Southern Arkansas University Muleriders in 2009. Johnson returned to the Central Arkansas Bears for the 2010-2011 seasons. He coached at Dallas Baptist University from 2012-2015 where he concurrently earned a master's degree in kinesiology. In October 2015 the Mississippi State University Bulldogs came-a-calling and Johnson joined their program for the 2016 season. After that one season he moved to MSU conference rival the University of Arkansas for the 2016-2018 seasons. In his final season with Arkansas, the team reached the finals of the 2018 College World Series. Some 30 pitchers he coached during those years were selected in the MLB Amateur Draft.

Johnson was named pitching coach of the Minnesota Twins before the 2019 season. He was part of a recent trend of teams hiring coaches with specific knowledge while overlooking a lack of professional playing experience. In Johnson's case, it was largely due to his being undersized at 5' 7". While born in Atlanta, GA, he grew up in Sherwood, AR and got his first jobs around his hometown. He served with the Twins until the middle of the 2022 season, when he announced on June 26th that he was leaving the team to join the staff of Louisiana State University. On June 5, 2023 as LSU was advancing to the 2023 CWS Super Regionals, Johnson was named head coach of the University of Georgia. He stated he would continue coaching LSU through the post-season.

He is known as a student of biomechanics and a fan of analytics. He has a reputation for helping pitchers find additional velocity on their pitches.

Further Reading[edit]

  • Associated Press: "Mold-breaking Twins pitching coach makes positive impression", USA Today, October 3, 2019. [1]
  • Phil Miller: "Twins to name Arkansas' Wes Johnson as pitching coach: Wes Johnson made his name developing velocity in nontraditional ways", Minneapolis Star Tribune, November 16, 2018. [2]
  • La Velle E. Neal III: "New Twins pitching coach Wes Johnson is cut from a different cloth: New pitching coach Wes Johnson's style, background stand out ", Minneapolis Star Tribune, February 16, 2019. [3]
  • John Shipley: "Twins, Baldelli hire longtime college pitching coach Wes Johnson", Twin Cities Pioneer Press, November 15, 2018. [4]

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