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Arizona baseball: Wildcats formally announce assistant coaching staff

Just a formality here really

Jason Bartel

We've known for a while now who would be the assistant coaches helping Jay Johnson try and return Arizona to baseball glory, but the school made it official on Thursday.

The new Arizona pitching coach will be Dave Lawn, who was with Johnson at Nevada. The new first base coach and recruiting coordinator will be Sergio Brown, who most notably coached and played at Cal State Fullerton.

"I could not be more excited about the coaching staff we have put together," Johnson said in the statement. "Both will fit perfectly with the vision and the mission of The University of Arizona and our athletic department. I am excited for our players to have the opportunity to be developed by these two coaches."

"I had a tremendous staff at the University of Nevada," Johnson told me at his introductory press conference in early June. "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."

Lawn will always be tied to the names Mark Prior and Ian Kennedy, both of whom he coached at USC. Prior won the Golden Spikes Award in 2001, which was Lawn's first season at USC.

"Dave is one of the elite pitching coaches in the country," Johnson said. "There are very few pitching coaches across the United States who have the winning experience he has and have developed as many pitchers who have ascended to Major League Baseball."

Sergio Brown has been an assistant for two College World Series teams (2007 UC-Irvine and 2009 Cal State Fullerton). He also won a National Championship as a player at CSF in 1995.

"Getting Sergio to come to Arizona has a huge lift for our program," Johnson said. "He is an outstanding recruiter who will help us in our effort to put Arizona baseball back at the forefront of the minds of the top players across the country. He is a tremendous coach as well and had a large hand in both UC Irvine and Cal State Fullerton reaching the College World Series during his time at each school. I look forward to the impact Sergio has on Arizona baseball."

With the obvious new focus of Arizona baseball being on recruiting prowess, we're going to get bombarded with recruiting class rankings from here on out when it comes to the new coaching staff. Brown has four top-14 classes listed from 2007-10, the last three coming at Cal State Fullerton.

It's nice to have a pitching coach at Arizona again, and another assistant with a lot of experience at a high level. Now it's time to see what they can do after losing a lot of pieces from last year's team, and not hauling in most of Andy Lopez' top recruits for the 2015 class.