DRAFFENVILLE – Mike Johnson, head baseball coach at Murray High School the past six years, was named Wednesday as the new coach at Marshall County High School.
Johnson replaces Bill Thorpe, who resigned to take a position as principal at Lyon County Elementary School. Thorpe coached the Marshals the last three seasons.
“I’m really excited about coming to Marshall County,” Johnson said. “It’s a good move for me and my family. I’m looking forward to getting up to Marshall County and meeting people and meeting my players.”
Johnson compiled a 254-148 record as head coach at Murray and Livingston Central. He also had a stint as an assistant coach at Freed-Hardeman University in Henderson, Tenn., where he earned a masters degree, and coached one year at Paducah Tilghman High School before taking the head coaching position at Livingston Central in 2000.
His teams won four All “A” Classic region championships, two in Region 1 at Murray and two in Region 2 at Livingston Central.
Last year’s Murray team was 24-14, advancing to the Region 1 championship game before falling to Calloway County.middle schools,” he said.
Johnson teaches social studies. His teaching assignment in the Marshall County school system has not been determined yet.
“I’m pretty sure I’m going to be assigned to one of the middle schools,” he said.
Johnson said he is looking forward to coach at a larger school.
“I think you have a few more players with the larger student population,” he said. “Depth is what makes big schools have an advantage. You have players competing against each other for positions and that makes them better.”
The combination of multi-sport athletes and single-sport specialists at MCHS is an encouraging sign for Johnson.
“I think that’s the sign of a good program when different sports share players,” he said. “I think it helps your athletes. The really successful schools have that mix of players who just want to play one sport and those who want to play more than one sport.”
Johnson said Marshall County fans can expect to see an active, high-pressure game on the field in the spring o 2013.
“We’ll bunt, run, hit and run, try to put as much pressure on them as possible,” he said. “We want our pitchers to try to make ‘em put the ball in play in three pitches.”
Johnson and his wife, Jenni, have three sons.