FAYETTEVILLE - Wes Johnson is expected to be the next pitching coach for the Arkansas baseball team, according to several people familiar with the decision.
Johnson, an Arkansas native, spent last season with Mississippi State where he helped starting pitcher Dakota Hudson become a first-round pick in the MLB First-Year Player Draft over the weekend. Before that, he spent three years at Dallas Baptist.
The news was first reported by Mississippi State analyst Matt Wyatt and confirmed to the Arkansas News Bureau by two people with connections to the Diamond Hogs program. No one from the Arkansas baseball sports information department could be reached for comment.
Johnson would replace Dave Jorn, who announced his retirement last month after two separate stints with Arkansas spanning 20 years under both coach Dave Van Horn and Norm DeBriyn. Jorn said he planned to stay on through most of the summer or until a new coach was hired.
Johnson is from Sherwood, Arkansas, and graduated from Sylvan Hills in 1990. He played at Arkansas-Monticello and embarked on his coaching career at Sylvan Hills, Arkansas Baptist and Abundant Life before moving on to the college ranks. He was an assistant at Central Arkansas from 2007-08, Southern Arkansas in 2009 and back at UCA from 2010-11 before getting the job at Dallas Baptist.
Mississippi State was fifth in the SEC in earned-run average this year with a 3.35 mark. Arkansas was last at 5.02. The Bulldogs were the SEC regular-season champions and ultimately made it to the Super Regionals, falling to Arizona twice to be eliminated.