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Johnson's recruiting success (and further development of players) is a result of his magnetic personality.

The line between being an idiot and being a genius is thin.

Both father and son built their coaching style on building strong relationships.

In the end, Johnson's move was ingenious. With his team pinned on its 1 yard line, Johnson knew a safety would put the opponent ahead and give them possession. He also knew punting would give the opposition an easy field goal. Both scenarios ended in his team losing.

in Oroville, Calif., a small town about three hours northwest of Reno, near Chico.

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His prized recruit at San Diego was Kris Bryant, a power hitting third baseman who slammed an NCAA best 31 homers in 2013. Bryant was the No. 2 pick in last month's Major League Baseball draft.

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That's when Johnson, then a Pop Warner star, purposely fumbled on his own 1 yard line with his team leading by one point late in the game. He did so without asking for Lacoste Dreyfus

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thinking like Bear Bryant."

So, Johnson gave the ball away, with confidence he could lead the team to a touchdown and a victory.

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Hill credited Johnson for Bryant's development and the blossoming of San Diego into an elite program. Hill laughed when he recalled a conversation he had with Scott Sarver almost a decade ago. An assistant position opened on Hill's staff in 2005 when Sarver told him about Johnson, who had spent the previous four years at NAIA school Point Loma Nazarene, including one year as the program's head coach.

Johnson envisions a bright future for his program, a return to the glory years of the 1990s when Nevada made four regional appearances in seven years. He wants his team to be known for hard work and discipline, effort and enthusiasm, things he learned from his dad.

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At San Diego, Johnson, the team's associate head coach in charge of recruiting and hitting, helped the Toreros to six regional appearances in eight seasons. During his tenure, the team won three West Coast Conference regular season titles, three conference championships and five player of the year awards.

rising Wolf Pack coach Jay Johnson has been prepping for job since age 5

"That's the kind of mind you're dealing with here," said San Diego head baseball coach Rich Hill, who hired Johnson as an assistant eight years ago. "That's a 12 year old who is Prada Wedge Ankle Boot Black

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Early coaching baptism

Johnson's rsum was one of 80 that landed in Reno after longtime Wolf Pack coach Gary Powers retired after the 2013 season. It quickly stood out and new athletic director Doug Knuth pounced.

All of this strategy went pumping through the head of a 12 year old. While most kids wouldn't think in these terms, Johnson was different. He's been bred as a coach since the time he could swing a bat.

"I fumbled on purpose, they scored a touchdown, we got the ball back and went down the field and scored the game winning touchdown," Johnson said. "Good thing it worked."

A new challenge

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"After the first couple of weeks of playing T ball, having never played baseball before, at 5 years old, as a kindergartner, he said, 'Dad, I want to be a head baseball coach,'" Jay's father, Jerry, recalled. "I said, 'Really?' He said, 'Yes, I want to be a baseball coach.' He's never deviated from that statement."

"When the job came open, he called me and said, 'Dude, you're not going to believe this guy. You need to hire him right now. Right now! Get on the phone, call this number and hire him,'" Hill said. "It was the best move I ever made in my life. He took us to a different level."

"There are a lot of guys who look exactly like him," Hill said. "They all have really cool haircuts and a nice polo and great tennis shoes and they're all taking notes at these recruiting events. But Jay is different because he can do the same thing as everybody else but he can get players to commit and that's where he separates himself. He's extremely gifted with recruits, guys that age group, and their parents."

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Johnson, Knuth and Polian are all young, energetic personalities. None of those three is older than 40. None of them want to hear about the limitations Nevada might have.

Jay Johnson, the oldest of two boys, wanted to Louis Vuitton Womens Boots follow in his father's footsteps. The two would go to coaching clinics together when Jay was a teenager. When he was 12, Johnson met then Notre Dame football coach Lou Holtz. Both Johnsons tried to implement Holtz's coaching style of emphasizing relationships over Xs and Os.

Jerry Johnson let his players sleep at his house if a track meet or baseball game ran deep into the night (some players lived 30 or 40 minutes away). His son used that example as a springboard for success. One of the top recruiters in college baseball, Johnson helped lure the No. 1 recruiting class to San Diego in 2008 and No. 2 class in 2010.

Over the past six months, the Wolf Pack has hired a new athletic director, baseball coach and football coach (Brian Polian), a group that replaces a trio who had 80 years of experience at Nevada.

his coach's approval.

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Wolf Pack baseball coach Jay Johnson, who was hired two weeks ago, learned that lesson at age 12.

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"The coach wanted to kill me at first," Johnson said with a laugh while recalling the moment.

The son of a longtime high school coach, Johnson has been waiting 30 years for a chance to run his own Division I program. The 36 year old Johnson has known for some time he wanted to coach.

"We found out that Xs and Os are important and strategy is important," the elder Johnson said. "But the bottom line is Xs and Os, strategy and techniques are available to everybody. The artistry of being a good coach is how you influence your athletes and how you impact the people around you. You need to find out how to keep guys happy, how to motivate them, make them want to work hard, convince them they're important, convince them they can be successful and the rest takes care of itself."

His father, a teacher at Oroville High, was the town's most well liked coach. During his 36 years at the school, Jerry Johnson was the head track coach for 20 years, an assistant for the football program for 15 seasons and an assistant for the baseball team for 10.

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