Chipola baseball field is now Jeff Johnson Field

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Mark Skinner | TIMES

What does 23 seasons as the head of Chipola baseball, three national championship titles, six state titles, 13 conference titles, 867 wins and nearly 100 players drafted to the MLB from the Chipola program during your tenure land you? Well, in the case of Chipola head baseball coach Jeff Johnson, you get a field named after you. Saturday, alumni, family, friends, supporters, along with former and present MLB and MiLB players gathered for the official naming of the field to the Jeff Johnson Field.
An always humble Jeff Johnson said after the naming of the field, “It’s a great honor to have the field named after me. You know just all the great players, coaches, administrators that I’ve had the opportunity to deal with and everything. I couldn’t be prouder of the crowd that showed up today, all the players and a lot of my teammates from back in the day as well. And then the community, and hopefully you’ve touched someone that maybe you said something to someone that maybe helped them along the way. “
Former Indian and MLB all-star Jose Bautista is never at a loss for praise for his former coach, “He has always told me to not give up, even when you’re tired and you think that it can’t get worse to just really trust in yourself and know that if you focus on the task at hand, and just try to put your effort and your focus where it needs to be, you can pretty much accomplish anything even when your body is letting you down, or the whole situation is tougher than what you might have expected. “
Another former Indian player under coach Johnson had no shortage of words of praise for his former player and long-time friend. Nathan Marks is a fixture year after year, heading up the yearly alumni weekend, giving hour after hour to make it a success. Marks said of this event and Johnson, “It was another great year catching up with friends and former teammates at Chipola College. Most of all, the baseball alumni were proud to work with the administration to formally name the field after Coach Jeff Johnson. His record and championships are second to none in JUCO baseball over the past 23 plus seasons, but what his players learn from him extends well beyond the diamond. How to compete, how to be mentally prepared, how to outwork your opponent, how to be a great teammate. He loves every player that ever laced their cleats for him, and we love him right back. That’s why he’s the GOAT.”
Congratulations to Coach Jeff Johnson from the publisher and staff of the Jackson County Times.

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