Five-game intra-squad series begins this coming Saturday morning
Villanova opens the season this week with a three-game series at Arkansas
Head coach Joe Godri and his staff addressed every position on the field with versatile group
Rod Johnson is in his 13th season at Villanova and his seventh year as Joe Godri's senior assistant coach. Johnson works with the team's defense and is also the third base coach.
Villanova has developed into one of the top defensive teams in the BIG EAST Conference under Johnson's tutelage. The team has compiled a fielding percentage of .965 or higher in each of the last five seasons and the Wildcats have posted a mark of at least .960 nine times in the past 10 years.
During the 2013 season Johnson achieved terrific results with one of the youngest Villanova teams in recent memory. For the season the Wildcats posted a .967 fielding percentage and committed zero or one errors 39 times. Late in the year Villanova was playing defense at an even higher level, however. Over the final 15 games of the year the Wildcats had a .982 fielding percentage and turned eight double plays.
In 2010 the Wildcats had their best defense during Johnson's tenure with the program. Villanova finished the year with a .975 fielding percentage, marking the second straight year with a mark of .970 or better. In 52 games during the 2010 season Villanova committed zero or one errors on 40 occasions, turned 58 double plays and finished second in the BIG EAST in fielding percentage.
Johnson is well known in the Philadelphia baseball community and has been inducted into several local sports halls of fame. In addition to his collegiate coaching career at Villanova, Johnson spent several years coaching American Legion baseball in the area. He served as the head coach of the Paoli American Legion squad from 1996 until 2005. Johnson's first Paoli team competed for a league championship in 1996 and went on to win a league and playoff championship in 1999, when it finished with a 37-7 record, and also advanced to national postseason play in 2005. Johnson also coached the Spring-City American Legion team from 1983-1992 and accumulated 225 victories to go along with two regional championships.
Over the years, Johnson has received numerous awards for his coaching career and work in the community. He was the recipient of the Tri-County Old Timers Ambucs Award for meritorious service to the sports community and in 1999 was presented with the House of Representatives Award for Community Service.
Johnson is a former All-American infielder at Temple who helped lead the Owls to the College World Series as a sophomore in 1977. Playing for legendary collegiate coach Skip Wilson, Johnson batted .399 in his collegiate career. In 1978, he was named a second team All-American, AACBC first team All-East selection as well as the ECC Player of the Year.
Following his senior year at Temple, Johnson was a draft pick of the Cincinnati Reds in 1979 and was named the organization's Minor League Rookie of the Year that same season. He played in the Reds system from 1979-82.