07/26/2017 12:56 PM
Johnson has been with the team since its inaugural season in 2009, amassing a record of 317-155 with four MINK League Championships and five MINK North Regular Season Division Titles. This postseason the Mustangs are sitting in the driver’s seat as the #1 seed. The Mustangs set to begin play on Thursday.
Under his tutelage the team placed 4th in the NBC World Series in 2010 and 2012, along with top 10 finishes in 2011, 2014 and 2015.
“A lot of reflection has gone on throughout this season,” Johnson said. “To be able to look back at all of the great friendships I’ve made throughout this organization. To think about how the fans and the community embraced the team and myself and my family here at Phil Welch Stadium.”
Throughout Johnson’s tenure he has coached countless players from all walks of life, from across the country. Johnson says that the players are the ones who have made this experience so special.
“They’ve been our kids every year for Brenda and I. My kids have had big brothers for 9 years. Those relationships are extremely special to myself and my family. A lot of these guys have allowed me to develop and grow, by allowing me to coach the way I do, from conversations we’ve had and the experiences shared within this organization.”
The countless friendships and the support of the organization made this decision a difficult one, but ultimately time spent with his ever-growing children and wife of 15 years Brenda outweighed that of his adopted children within the team.
“The final decision was, and I love what I’m doing, but I was missing out on family stuff. There are a lot of things that go on behind the scenes (and sacrifices that Brenda, Jase and Brynlee make) that people don’t see. Without My families support, I wouldn't have been able to give everything I have had to this organization. I’ve been coaching this team for the entirety of Brynlee’s life [Johnson’s youngest]. I’m going to now be able to watch my kids grow and spend more time with my wife, along with having a bigger hand in coaching their teams. Time has flown by so fast and I want to make sure I am available.”
“Matt has approached the Mustangs with a passion that few could match,” Mustangs General Manager Ky Turner said. “His leadership has brought us to one of the top summer college baseball teams on the field each summer, but Matt has been integral in the team’s involvement in the community as well. We can’t say thank you enough to Matt for everything he has done both on and off the field for team.”
The team was informed of Johnson’s decision on Friday. Johnson said it was important for the team to know, but he didn’t want it to be a distraction as they enter the MINK playoffs. No replacement has been named at this time.
“Matt has obviously set a high standard for our performance on field,” Team Owner and CEO Dan Gerson said. “He has made it where, I believe, there will tremendous interest in the position. We will start the search for a new manager in the following weeks after the completion of this season. We completely respect his decision and we stand by him. We thank him for all his contributions in making the Mustangs what they are today. Matt’s last nine years will be a tough act to follow.”
“We will definitely be back, definitely for the alumni game,” Johnson said. “We love it, they still talk about past players who have come through the organization. Our time in St. Joe is something we will always hold dear.”
The Mustangs host the MINK North Divisional Championship game tomorrow evening at Phil Welch Stadium. Gates open at 5:30 and first pitch is set for 7. Playoff special prices include $5 General Admission, $1 Hot Dogs and $2 12 oz Miller Lite and Coors Lights.