With Sam Houston's 8-6 victory over UTSA on March 8, 2010, Mark Johnson became the 15th active coach and the 44th head coach all-time to total 1,000 coaching victories at the NCAA Division I level.
Johnson's 25-year record now stands at 1,008 victories, 540 losses and three ties. In four years at Sam Houston he has led the Bearkats to an overall mark of 132 victories and 109 losses. The Bearkats have won three of the last four Southland Conference post-season tournament championships, advancing to the NCAA baseball regionals in 2007, 2008 and 2009.
Johnson became the sixth head coach in Sam Houston State University's modern baseball history on July 16, 2006.
His four seasons at the helm of the Bearkat program can best be described as "record breaking." Johnson's first three seasons, Sam Houston earned NCAA Division I tournament berths by sweeping undefeated through the Southland Conference post-season tournament. Three consecutive SLC tournament crowns and Division I regional appearances are a league first.
In 2007, Sam Houston had one of the three best turn-around seasons in NCAA Division I baseball with a 40-24 record, an improvement of 17 victories over SHSU's 23-31 record in 2006. The Southland tournament title sent the Kats to the NCAA Regional for the first time since 1996. With thrilling come-from-behind victories over Troy and Southern Mississippi, Sam Houston reached the NCAA Division I Regional finals.
In 2008, the Kats went 37-25 to produce the most wins by Sam Houston teams in consecutive seasons since SHSU won 45 and 44 games in 1986 and 1987. In the NCAA Regional in Houston, the Kats fell to the No. 1 and 2 seeds, losing to eventual Regional champion Rice by one run.
The Kats ran their Southland tournament winning streak to 12, a league best, to earn a third NCAA regional berth in 2009.
In the past four years, the Bearkats have set 26 school records including most RBIs , hits, doubles and triples and best team batting average (.335). Three Bearkats have been recognized as All-America and, in 2007, Sam Houston produced the NCAA Division I baseball "Closer of the Year" in Luke Prihoda.
For 21 years, Johnson was head coach at Texas A&M where he directed the Aggies to two NCAA College World Series appearances and a record of 876 victories, 433 losses, and three ties.
Johnson served as head baseball coach at Texas A&M from 1984 to 2005. He won Southwest Conference championships in 1986, 1989, and 1993 and Big 12 league titles in 1998 and 1999. His teams competed in the NCAA playoffs 13 times, making 13 NCAA regional appearances and reaching the College World Series in 1993 and 1999.
Johnson was Sporting News National Coach of the Year in 1993 and United States Olympic Committee Coach of the Year in 1999. He is a member of both the American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA) and Texas Baseball Hall of Fames.
During Johnson's tenure at Texas A&M, 93 percent of the 272 baseball players who competed in the baseball program earned their college degrees.
Johnson is a graduate of the University of New Mexico where he received his bachelor's degree in science and physical education in 1967 and his master's degree in Recreation and Physical Education in 1971. He earned All-Conference honors as a member of the Lobos' baseball team in 1965, 1966, and 1967 and was NCAA All-Region in 1967. Johnson was inducted into the University of New Mexico Athletic Hall of Honor during the fall of 2007.
After playing professional baseball in the Mets organization from 1967 to 1969, Johnson served as an assistant coach at New Mexico (1969 to 1971), Arizona (1971 to 1976), and Mississippi State (1976 to 1982) before joining Tom Chandler's staff at Texas A&M in 1982.
During his 21 years as head coach at Texas A&M, 108 players were selected in the Major League baseball draft. Johnson was named as ABCA Regional Coach of the Year in 1986, 1993, 1998, and 1999. He was Big 12 "Coach of the Year" in 1998, 1999 and 2003 and Southwest Conference "Coach of the Year" in 1986, 1989, and 1993.
He served as head coach for Team USA in the summer of 1999. His teams at Texas A&M were ranked No. 1 in the nation for 11 weeks in 1989, six weeks in 1993, and three times in 1999.
In January 2007, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes presented Johnson with the FCA Baseball Jerry Kindall Character in Coaching Award. In January 2008, Johnson was the first recipient of the American Baseball Coaches Association "Ethics In Coaching" Award at the ABCA national convention in San Diego, CA.
Johnson has been married to his high school "sweetheart," Linda, for 41 years. Both their sons, Ron and Brian, played baseball for their father at Texas A&M. Upon graduation, both were recipients of the prestigious Texas A&M "Student-Athlete of the Year" award.
Ron and his wife Beth and Brian and his wife Jill are parents of Mark and Linda's five grandchildren.
NCAA DIVISION I ACTIVE HEAD COACHES (Ranked by total victories)