Returning for his second season in the Vanderbilt baseball
program is pitching coach Derek Johnson. The energetic Johnson
owns an impressive record of developing young, talented hurlers
into major league prospects. During his coaching career, Johnson
has tutored 10 collegiate pitchers who later signed professional
contracts. Two years ago he received accolades for his work
with Lenny DiNardio, a two-time All-American left-hander at
Stetson, who twice was a member of the USA Baseball National
Team. DiNardio was chosen by the New York Mets in the third
round of the 2001 Major League Baseball Amateur Draft.
Under Johnson's tutelage, the Hatters advanced to the NCAA regionals in 2000
and 2001, and claimed the 2000 Trans America Athletic Conference title. Under
Johnson, the Stetson pitching staff lowered its ERA from 6.37 in 1998 to 3.98
When Vanderbilt's Jeremy Sowers earned Freshman All-America honors last season
he became the fourth consecutive freshman pitcher under Johnson's direction
to earn the national award, following Stetson's Jack Collins (2001), Andy Wilson
(2000) and Lenny DiNardio (1999).
During his playing career as a left-handed pitcher at Eastern Illinois, Johnson
garnered All-Mid Continent Conference accolades in 1993 after transferring from
Indiana University. He worked one season as pitching coach at his alma mater
before moving on to Southern Illinois to work in the same capacity for three
seasons. In 1997 he began coaching at Stetson.
Johnson managed the Decatur Blues in the Central Illinois Collegiate League
in the summers of 1994-1995 and served as a pitching coach for the Anchorage
Glacier Pilots in Anchorage, Alaska in the summer of 1996.
A native of Normal, Ill., Johnson is married to the former Tasha Huster.
The Johnson File
Full Name: Derek Randall Johnson
Born: 7/16/71 in Gibson City, Ill.
Hometown: Normal, Ill.
Family: Wife: Tasha
University High School, Normal, Ill., 1989
Lake Land Community College, 1990-1991
Indiana University, 1992
Eastern Illinois, B.A. in Physical Education, 1994
Two-year letterman at Lake Land Community College, 1990-1991. Won All-state
One-year letterman at Indiana University, 1992
One-year letterman at Eastern Illinois, 1993. Garnered All-Mid Continent
Assistant coach at Eastern Illinois, 1994
Head coach of Decatur Blues in the Central Illinois Collegiate League, 1994-1995
Assistant coach at Southern Illinois, 1995-1997
Assistant coach of Anchorage Glacier Pilots of the Alaska
Baseball League, 1996
Assistant coach at Stetson, 1998-2001
Assistant coach at Vanderbilt, 2002-Present