Dec. 2, 2011
Cullowhee, N.C. -
Western Carolina head baseball coach Bobby Moranda this week announced the addition of former volunteer coach Bruce Johnson to his full-time coaching staff. Johnson, who spent the past two seasons as the volunteer assistant, served as the head coach of the Wilson Tobs last summer in the collegiate wooden bat Coastal Plain League. He officially started as an assistant on Dec. 1.
Johnson joins former Catamount standout Alan Beck, who was a three-time All-Southern Conference selection during his collegiate career and the 2003 SoCon Player of the Year, on the WCU coaching staff.
A 2009 graduate from Western Carolina University, Johnson originally transferred to WCU and served as both an undergraduate and volunteer assistant under Moranda over the past four years. He has become a staple for the Catamounts in the first-base coaching box and a vital part of the workings of the baseball program.
"I am honored to have Bruce - another WCU graduate - as a full-time member of my coaching staff," said the Catamount skipper who is entering his fifth season in Cullowhee. "This is a well-deserved promotion for he has paid his dues as both a student assistant and volunteer coach over the past four seasons. His enthusiasm and love for the Catamount baseball program run deep within both he and his family."
His younger brother, Brandon, was a four-year letter-winner for Moranda at WCU, finishing his career ranked second in school history in pitching appearances (97) with 19 wins including 18 out of the bullpen. Brandon also joined the Catamount coaching staff this fall as a student assistant coach.
Prior to making the move to Cullowhee, Johnson spent one year playing baseball at South Atlantic Conference-member, Newberry College in South Carolina and then at Pitt Community College in Greenville, N.C.
During his coaching career, Johnson twice helped coach the Morehead City Post 46 Hurricanes American Legion baseball team. In 2008, the squad posted a team all-time best record of 29-5 which came on the heels of a 2006 American Legion State Championship and third-place finish in the south regional.
A graduate of West Carteret High School in Morehead City, N.C., Johnson hit .440 during his senior year with five home runs and 38 RBI helping his squad to a final record of 22-4. He was a two-time, all-conference selection and earned All-State accolades as a senior. In the classroom, Johnson was a member of the WCHS National Honor Society and was awarded the school's Academic Achievement Award in 2004.