EUREKA, Ill. – Kim Johnson has been named baseball head coach at Eureka College, according to an announcement from interim Eureka Director of Athletics Mark Scherer, Monday afternoon. Johnson owns 26 years of collegiate baseball coaching experience, including 20 seasons and 515 victories as a head coach.
Johnson replaces Isaac Cox, who resigned last spring. Eureka is eligible to return 14 letterwinners from last season's team that went 9-25 overall and 6-18 in St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference play.
Johnson comes to Eureka with collegiate coaching experience at
the NCAA Division I, NCAA Division III, NAIA and NJCAA
levels. He broke into the collegiate coaching ranks as an
assistant at NJCAA Moraine Valley in Palos Hills, Ill. during the
1987 and 1988 seasons, helping the Cyclones to 48 victories.
He then moved on as an assistant to NAIA Bellevue (Neb.), where the
Bruins compiled a 133-55 (.707) mark and made three consecutive
appearances in the NAIA Region III Tournament.
Following his stint at Bellevue, Johnson earned his first head coaching position at NJCAA McHenry County in Crystal Lake, Ill. From 1993 through 1996, Johnson piloted the Scots to three winning seasons, including a final national ranking of 13th in 1994. He was selected as the NJCAA Region 4 and Skyway Conference Coach of the Year in 1996 after securing a final national ranking of sixth and a 40-15 mark.
He continued his run as a junior college coach at Illinois Central in East Peoria, Ill. during the 1997 and 1998 campaigns. The Cougars went 55-42 in his two seasons. Johnson was named NJCAA Region 24 Coach of the Year in 1998 after leading ICC to its first Region 24 title.
During a three-year tenure (1999-01) as head coach at NCAA Division I Western Illinois, Johnson led the Leathernecks to 43 victories. His 1999 squad went 9-9 in Mid-Continent Conference action (now known as The Summit League) for a third-place finish, which remains the Leathernecks' second-highest league finish since the league dropped its divisional format in 1999. Johnson coached seven all-conference players in his three seasons in Macomb.
Johnson returned to McHenry County for a 10-year run from 2002 through 2011. The Scots won 25 games or more in six of the 10 seasons, including a 39-21 record in 2005 that landed the Scots 18th in the final NJCAA national poll. He ultimately earned his 500th career head coaching victory in April 2011.
In all, Johnson owns 472 victories as a head coach at the NJCAA level and an additional 43 wins in Division I for a 20-year record 515-464 (.526). He has coached a total of 10 All-Americans, three academic All-Americans and 37 players that went on to sign a professional baseball contract.
Most recently, Johnson was an assistant coach at NCAA Division III and St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference member Blackburn during the 2013 season, helping the Beavers to a 17-21 record.
In addition to his experience in NCAA, NAIA and NJCAA, Johnson has head coaching experience at the collegiate summer level for the Glen Ellyn Jam (1992-96) and Bloomington Bobcats (1998-99). He served as pitching coach of the Cook County Cheetahs of the Frontier League (now known as Windy City Thunderbolts) in 2002 and was an associate scout for the Texas Rangers of Major League Baseball from 1988 until 1993.
Johnson also owns eight years of experience in the international baseball community. He has contributed both as a head coach and an assistant representing the United States in tournaments hosted by Mexico, Columbia, Germany and Japan. He served as delegate and personnel evaluator for the International Athletic Foundation and the USA Pan American Youth Baseball Team from 1992 until 2000.
Known as "Hoss" throughout collegiate baseball circles in the Midwest, the Union, Iowa native earned his undergraduate degree in physical education/history from William Penn University in Oskaloosa, Iowa in 1980.
"We're happy to welcome Coach Johnson to our staff as head baseball coach," Scherer said Monday. "His proven track record of success as a college head baseball coach will be a valuable asset to our student-athletes both on and off the field. We're excited for him to get started."
Johnson is the fourth new head coach in as many years for Eureka.