The new baseball coach at Peninsula High is a familiar face. Michael Johnson was the junior varsity coach for the Seahawks the past three seasons and is now taking over as the head coach for the varsity squad, after Kevin Owens decided to step down at the end of the 2018 season.
Johnson, 35, is originally from the Mill Creek/Bothell area. He attended Jackson High School and Western Washington University, where he played catcher and outfield.
Johnson, his wife, and four kids now call Gig Harbor home.
“I remember driving past the (Peninsula High baseball) field when we moved here seven years ago and thought, ‘It’d be pretty neat to coach there,’” Johnson said.
Now, it’s a reality.
“I’m really excited,” Johnson said. “Coming in as the JV coach, I got to be part of the community. I’ve really grown to love the community. My four kids and my wife, we really engrained ourselves in the Peninsula community. I love everything about it. … The group of guys we have, there’s a ton of talent and they’re really good kids. I’m anxious and honored.”
Peninsula athletic director Ross Filkins had nothing but good things to say about Johnson.
"(Johnson) is ideally suited to be the head coach at Peninsula," Filkins said. "His baseball acumen, character and leadership skills are excellent. Our players and the future of Peninsula baseball are in great hands."
Players and fans can expect a committed, hard-working coaching style with an emphasis on effort and fundamentals.
“You’ve got to make things happen,” Johnson said. “I’m an aggressive style coach, I like to move things around. We want to control the game, take things down to the nitty-gritty and focus on fundamentals.”
Leading the program will be about more than just baseball, for Johnson.
“I want to lead a program that focuses on attitude and effort,” Johnson said. “In the classroom, on the baseball field and in the community, as well. If you come with a positive attitude and compete hard and put out max effort, the wins and losses will take care of themselves. As much as we’re going to work on the field, I want them to work in the classroom. I want them to leave making Peninsula proud, and proud to say they’re part of the community.”
Johnson expresses his gratitude to Owens for the endorsement for the head coaching job, and Peninsula athletic director Ross Filkins for the opportunity.
“(Owens) has built the program in the last three years quite a bit,” Johnson said. “To be able to walk into this program, where it is now, will make my job easier.”