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Vanderbilt’s Derek Johnson named ABCA Assistant Coach of the Year

Vanderbilt Associate Head Coach/Pitching Coach Derek Johnson has been named the ABCA/Baseball America Assistant Coach of the Year.

The honor comes on the heels of one of the Commodores most successful seasons in school history. Vanderbilt was one win away from their first trip to the College World Series and appeared in the school’s second-ever Super Regional, eventually losing to Florida State. The team’s pitchers helped guide the Dores to 46 wins, second-most in school history, while posting the second-best team ERA (3.69) in the rugged Southeastern Conference.

“This is a great honor, not only for me but the entire Vanderbilt baseball program,” Johnson said. “I’ve been very fortunate to work with several talented pitchers during my career, and I will continue to strive to teach them as much as they have taught me.”

Four pitchers under his direction have been selected in the Top 10 picks of the first round, including No. 1 overall pick David Price in 2007. Overall 26 pitchers have been drafted with 20 coming in the last six years.

Johnson has been a staple of the Vanderbilt coaching staff beginning in 2002 under former head coach Roy Mewbourne and was promoted to Associate Head Coach prior to last season by head coach Tim Corbin.

“DJ is very deserving of the title of Associate Head Coach in so many ways,” Corbin said after the promotion. “Not only is he in a very small class of great pitching coaches in the country, he serves as an ambassador and role model to the kids and our baseball program”

The award marks the second time Johnson has been recognized on a national level, he was tabbed the National College Pitching Coach of the Year in 2004. He will be recognized at the ABCA’s annual convention in January at The Opryland Hotel in Nashville.

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