Steve "Hoot" Johnigan is in his 18th season as an assistant coach at Baylor after serving four years as an assistant at Mississippi State, including three seasons alongside Baylor head coach Steve Smith. He was promoted to Baylor associate head coach following the 2012 season.
At Baylor, Johnigan serves as the primary hitting coach, coordinates the Bears' offense and baserunning and coaches the infielders and catchers. Johnigan also coordinates the Baylor Coaching Clinic held in conjunction with the Texas High School Coaches Association convention each January.
As the Bears' third base coach, Johnigan directed the Baylor offense to record seasons for runs scored and stolen bases in 1999. Baylor was one of only two Division I teams nationally to hit at least 100 home runs and steal at least 100 bases during both the 1998 and 1999 seasons.
Johnigan also has established Baylor as one of the nation's leaders in development of catchers. During Johnigan's time on staff, Baylor catchers have been named All-Big 12 Conference eight times, ABCA All-Midwest Region five times and eight have signed professional contracts with Major League organizations.
That list starts with Kelly Shoppach, who was a 2001 unanimous first-team All-America selection, won the Johnny Bench Award as the nation's top collegiate catcher and was a second-round draft pick of the Boston Red Sox. Shoppach went on to play for the Cleveland Indians, who reached the 2007 American League Championship Series, and he is entering his ninth MLB season in 2013. Three other Baylor catchers -- Josh Ford (2003), Zach Dillon (2006) and Josh Ludy (2012) -- also have been Bench Award Semifinalists.
Baylor catchers also have led the Big 12 in conference batting average twice in the last six seasons; Dillon established a Baylor record with a .421 average in Big 12 play during the 2006 season, while Matt Czimskey led the league with a .386 conference average in 2007. Ludy was named 2012 Big 12 Player of the Year after leading the league in home runs and RBI and finishing third in batting average. During the 2004, 2005 and 2006 seasons, a Baylor catcher reached base safely in 145 consecutive games.
However, the success of Baylor's catchers is best judged by the success of the Bears' pitching staffs. Baylor has ranked fourth or better in the Big 12 in staff ERA 10 times in the league's 16-year history. In 2005, Baylor finished 12th nationally in ERA with a 3.23 mark; it was the ninth-lowest ERA in school history, the lowest since 1977. The 2012 team posted an even better ERA at 3.08, which ranked 19th nationally and was the Bears' lowest since 1970, prior to the aluminum-bat era.
During Johnigan's tenure at Mississippi State, the Bulldogs appeared in the NCAA regional in 1992 and 1993. Johnigan's primary responsibilities for the Bulldogs included coaching catchers, outfielders and hitters. In addition to his on-field duties, he also coordinated travel and umpire assignments.
A 1989 kinesiology graduate of Texas A&M, Johnigan served as both a student assistant coach and a graduate assistant at A&M. As a student assistant coach in 1988 and 1989, Johnigan worked with then-graduate assistant Smith. While at A&M, Johnigan worked with the Aggie infielders, catchers and hitters. He received a master's degree in education from Mississippi State in 1991.
A walk-on catcher, Johnigan became a two-year starter (1984-85) at Texas A&M. His career batting average of .352 ranks among the best in Aggie history. In his junior season, Johnigan received the Wally Moon Award, given to the team's most improved player. Johnigan was the squad's captain in 1985 and was selected to the Southwest Conference all-tournament team that same year. For his efforts, he was awarded with the Marion Pugh Spirit Award for his "never say die" attitude.
After finishing his senior year at Texas A&M, Johnigan signed a professional baseball contract with the Cleveland Indians. He continued in the Cleveland organization through the 1987 season as both a player and assistant coach on two league-champion teams. Johnigan was a catcher on the 1986 Midwest League championship team in Waterloo, Iowa. He also served as pitching coach for the 1989 Appalachian League champion Kinston Indians in Kinston, N.C.
A native of Bryan, Texas, Johnigan was a two-time all-district shortstop and pitcher at Bryan High School. He went on to Bee County Junior College in Beeville (1982-83) where he was team captain and all-conference catcher in 1983.
Johnigan, 50, is married to the former Donna Vaughn of Blossom, Texas. They are the parents of two boys, Zachary (19) and Brycen (16).