Tyler Johnson is beginning his first year as head coach of the Highlanders after four seasons as an assistant coach.
Johnson joined the Highlander coaching staff as an assistant under Thompson in the fall of 2018. In his first season with the Highlanders, the team opened the season ranked third in the NJCAA Preseason Poll and remained in the top 10 throughout the season, working to a 24-8 record for a second-place finish in the NTJCAC. The Highlanders shined at the Region V Tournament, advancing to the championship game once again. McLennan fought hard against New Mexico in the championship game and ended the season with an overall record of 42-17.
The Highlanders were eyeing a regional championship and world series berth in 2020. The squad started the season on fire, amassing a 19-5 overall record and were 5-1 in conference play when the pandemic forced the cancellation of the season by the NJCAA.
2021 was a banner year for the Highlanders. The squad notched a 27-7 record in NTJCAC play for a first-place finish, went undefeated in the Region V North Tournament and the Region V Super Regional to earn a berth in the JUCO World Series. The Highlanders won all five games in Grand Junction to claim the second national title in program history and the first since 1983. McLennan ended the season on a 23-game winning streak to claim the title and finish with an overall record of 47-16.
The Highlanders success continued in 2022. Once again, the team claimed the NTJCAC Championship with a record of 28-4, and claimed the Region V North Championship, earning a return trip to the JUCO World Series. The Highlanders finished the season with an overall record of 50-13-1.
During Johnson’s time with the Highlanders, 22 players have earned all-conference honors. Six Highlanders have also been selected in the MLB Draft since Johnson joined the program, including Connor Phillips, selected in the second round by the Seattle Mariners with the 64th pick in 2020, Logan Henderson, selected in the fourth round by the Milwaukee Brewers with the 116th pick in 2021, and Wyatt Cheney, selected in the 10th round by the Baltimore Orioles with the 287th pick in 2022.
Johnson came to McLennan from Blinn College where he served as an assistant coach for a year. At Blinn, Johnson worked with catchers, outfielders and hitters while coaching first base on game days. Under his guidance, Buccaneers catcher Brandon Ashly was named to the 2018 NJCAA Division I Gold Glove Team with a .997 fielding percentage. Johnson spent the 2017 season as an intern for player development in the Texas Rangers organization. He was assigned to the Hickory (North Carolina) Crawdads and spent some time as a bullpen catcher in addition to his intern duties. His previous coaching experience includes summer baseball camps at the University of Texas at Austin and three years as a summer coach for the Frozen Ropes organization in McKinney. While with the Frozen Ropes, Johnson helped lead teams to the Connie Mack World Series.
As a player, Johnson began his collegiate career at Navarro College where he was a two-time academic all-conference selection, a team captain and helped lead the Bulldogs to a conference championship in 2015. He transferred to Concordia University and earned academic all-conference honors both seasons with the Tornados. He was named to the President's List at Navarro and was on the Dean's List for four semesters at Concordia.
Johnson earned an associate degree from Navarro in 2015, graduating magna cum laude. He received his bachelor's degree in business administration/management in 2017, graduating summa cum laude, and his master’s degree in sports administration in 2020, both from Concordia. He and his wife Bailey, a physical therapist with Ascension Providence, were married on New Year’s Day 2019. He is the son of Skip Johnson, the head baseball coach for the University of Oklahoma.
2022-present: Head coach, McLennan Community College
2018-2022: Assistant coach, McLennan Community College
2017-18: Assistant coach, Blinn College
2017: Hickory (North Carolina) Crawdads
2014-16: Frozen Ropes organization
2011-13: University of Texas Camps
2015-17: Concordia University
2013-15: Navarro College
2020: Master’s in sports administration, Concordia University
2017: Bachelor’s in business administration/management, Concordia University
2015: Associate’s degree, Navarro College