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Jay Johnson says LSU job is ‘opportunity of my lifetime’, reportedly interviewed before College World Series

Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

Jay Johnson was officially announced the LSU Tigers new head baseball coach on Friday and he released the following statement in the program’s press release.

“I am humbled and honored to be the head baseball coach at LSU and serve as the steward of the next generation of national champions,” the now-former Arizona coach said. “LSU is a phenomenal University and athletics department, and I am very thankful to Scott Woodward and Stephanie Rempe for entrusting me to lead this storied program into its next winning chapter. I view this as the opportunity of my lifetime and will do everything in my power to have our team playing a brand of baseball that makes everyone at LSU, the Baton Rouge community, and the entire state of Louisiana incredibly proud. Geaux Tigers!”

Johnson apparently was so enamored by the prospect of coaching at LSU that he reportedly interviewed for the position via Zoom on June 15, two days after Arizona eliminated Ole Miss in Super Regionals and four days before the Wildcats took on Vanderbilt in their College World Series opener.

That’s according to Glenn Guilbeau of the Lafayette Daily Advertiser, who also reports that Johnson will make $1.5 million per year at LSU, approximately $600,000 more than Arizona paid him for the 2021 season when taking COVID-19 paycuts into account.

“LSU Baseball is the premier program in the nation, and the interest we received from great coaches across the country was significant,” Woodward, the LSU athletic director, said in a statement. “Ultimately, Jay’s track record of postseason success, explosive lineups, and highly-ranked recruiting classes set him apart from the field. He’s made an immediate impact at every program he’s led, and he’s one of the most energetic, innovative, and focused coaches in America. I am confident he is ready to add to our extensive championship tradition at LSU, and we welcome Jay and Maureen to Baton Rouge.”

Johnson succeeds Paul Mainieri, who retired after 15 seasons with the Tigers. Arizona thanked Johnson for his accomplishments in a Tweet on Friday and will begin a coaching search to find his replacement immediately.