After the Arizona Wildcats announced that Jay Johnson was the new head coach at Arizona, Johnson said it was "the highest priority" to put the coaching staff in place as soon as possible.
He is doing that, as Nevada pitching coach Dave Lawn will make the move with Johnson.
Just spoke to Nevada pitching coach Dave Lawn who will be joining Jay Johnson at Arizona... Said he was thankful for his time with Wolf Pack— Alex Margulies (@marguliespxp) June 8, 2015
Lawn has a ton of experience in the Pac-12, having coached ten years at Cal, and eight at USC. During his time at USC, both Mark Prior and Ian Kennedy came through the program.
"We're going to hire two coaches that are among the best at recruiting and developing players, and they'll be great fits at Arizona for the 2016 season," Johnson said at his introductory press conference.
"I had a tremendous staff at the University of Nevada," Johnson continued. "I've really been fortunate enough to coach with some of the best coaches in our game, and (Lawn) is a special coach. He does a great job, like the rest of my staff."
"He's the best pitching coach in the nation," first baseman Austin Byler told the Reno Gazette-Journal. "He's a genius. The guy knows everything. He's been around and really knows what he's doing. The pitchers trust him and know he has their best interest at heart. He's been huge for our pitching staff, instilling confidence in guys."
I asked Greg Byrne if he would be involved in the search for the assistant staff, and he said "I help when asked."
It's very obvious the way Johnson talked about Lawn that he has a tremendous amount of respect for him, and they get along very well. Lawn was probably looking for a way to get back in the Pac-12, and what better way then to go with his guy.
This may be the more important higher short-term, as Arizona needs to rebuild its pitching staff in a way that will be competitive in the Pac-12. Bringing in Lawn is the first step in doing that.