New LSU baseball coach Jay Johnson wants teams ‘to hate to play us’

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June 28, 2021: Jay Johnson is introduced as the new Head Baseball Coach at LSU at Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field in Baton Rouge, LA. Jonathan Mailhes/CSM(Credit Image: copy; Jonathan Mailhes/CSM via ZUMA Wire) (Cal Sport Media via AP Images)

By Russell Jakubowski

New LSU baseball coach Jay Johnson says that he wants the Tigers to be a team opponents hate to play.

The former Arizona Wildcats baseball coach was introduced as the 26th coach in program history on Monday.

Ultimately I want teams to hate to play us, and I think we accomplished that the last couple offensive teams that we had, and that’s what I want to do at LSU,” Johnson said.

The Pac-12 coach of the year, who has compiled a 316–172 in his career, emphasized that he will not “sacrifice time to make sure we have the right people,” which includes hiring his staff and also players entering the transfer portal.

I want to be fair,” said Johnson. “I want to give players an opportunity to figure out what is the best opportunity for them.”

Athletic director Scott Woodward believes that Johnson can continue the legacy forged by Skip Bertman and maintained by legendary coach Paul Mainieri, who earned a 641–283–3 record from 2007-21 with LSU and captured a College World Series in 2009.

“Jay’s teams aren’t just prepared,” Woodward said. “They produce, too.”

The Tigers lost to the Tennessee Volunteers in the NCAA super regionals in Knoxville, Tenn., and finished 38-23 on the season.