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COACHING US TO VICTORY

Motivators, Educators, Mentors

Jason Johnson enters his 15th season as the Head Baseball Coach at Mountain View High School. Last season the Bears continued their streak of eight straight playoff appearances, excluding the shortened 2020 season. The Bears began this playoff run with a Region 7 Championship in 2014 in which they finished the season 22-12, a 2015 appearance in the Elite 8 of the State Playoffs- falling in three games to state Runner-Up Walton, a state playoff appearance against Lambert in 2016, a sweet 16 appearance against Etowah in 2017, another Sweet 16 appearance in 2018 in which they beat Forsyth Central in round one, before losing to eventual State and National Champion Parkview, and a 2019 first round loss at Brookwood, ending the season at 20-12, a 2021 appearance in the state playoffs against Cherokee, and a 2022 Sweet 16 appearance with a first round sweep against South Forsyth before losing to Newnan.


The Top of the Mountain, the Bears Baseball facility, was honored in 2016 by the Georgia Dugout Club as the Field of the Year. Coach Johnson has also worked with the staff of USA Baseball, serving most recently as a coach/scout for the 2018 East Coast 18U Championships and Pitching Coach for the 2017 15U Trials. In the last four years, Coach Johnson has served as the 14U Team USA Development Program Pitching Coordinator in 2016, one of the Pitching Coaches for the 15U Team USA Trials in 2015, has been a scout for the 14U National Team Championships in Phoenix, Arizona, and Jupiter, Florida; as well as a scout for the 14U National Team Identification Series in Cary, North Carolina.


During the first thirteen seasons at Mountain View, the Bears baseball program has compiled an overall record of 209-164. The Bears saw their first two players selected from the MLB Free Agent Draft in 2018, with former Bears and Kennesaw State standout AJ Moore being selected by the Cincinnati Reds in the 10th Round, and Bears Senior Chase Chaney being chosen by the Los Angeles Angles in the 15th Round. In 2019 Senior RHP Gavin Collyer was selected in the 10th Round and signed with the Texas Rangers Organization, and in 2020 former Bears standout Robert Kwiatkowski signed a free agent contract with the Boston Red Sox. MV has now sent 53 players on to continue their baseball careers at the college level. MV has had eight players named to the First Team All Gwinnett County Teams for their on-field accomplishments- Alex Brock, AJ Moore, Chandler Powell, Chase Chaney,
Garrett Spikes, Gavin Collyer, Tyshon Patty and Kenny Mallory Jr. In total, the Bears have had 27 players selected to All-County Teams, and 56 chosen as All-Region honorees. Powell was named as the Bears first member of the First Team All-State, with Moore being named to the 2 nd Team, Chaney being named to the First Team All-State team in 2018, Gavin Collyer and Kenny Mallory Jr. 2 nd team in 2019, and Landen Fernandez named as Honorable Mention in 2022. In 2015, the Bears had their first two players named to Junior Team Georgia- Robert Kwiatkowski and Zack Miller.


The Bears continue their successes in the classroom as well during the first eleven years, as the program has had 222 Scholar Athletes, and during the last 13 seasons, the varsity has maintained a Grade Point Average over 3.00 during the spring semester. Coach Johnson was named as the first Head Baseball Coach at Mountain View High
School, following a strong family background in professional baseball. Along with his great-grandfather who played for the Boston Red Sox and managed at the Major League level, grandfather who played in the Major Leagues and was President of the AA Eastern League, and uncle who played professional baseball, Coach Johnson played professional baseball in the Colorado Rockies and Cincinnati Reds organizations.

 

Coach Johnson grew up in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, which is best known for being home of the Little League World Series. He attended Williamsport Area High School, where he was named the Athlete of the Year, playing both basketball and baseball, and lead his high school baseball team to the state runner-up. After being drafted by the Atlanta Braves organization out of high school, he decided to attend Auburn University. While at Auburn, Coach Johnson pitched a perfect game in his first college start, and was three for three at the plate, being named Mizuno’s National Player of the Week for his accomplishments. At the conclusion of his junior year, he was named Academic All Southeastern Conference, and was drafted in the 19th round by the Colorado Rockies.

 

After his first season in the Colorado Rockies organization, Coach Johnson was named the #10 prospect in the organization by Baseball America. He finished that season 4-1 with 3 saves and a 0.74 ERA in the Northwest League and after being promoted to the California League was 3-1 and a 2.34 ERA. After spending the next season back in the California League, Coach Johnson then played one season in the AA Eastern League for the New Haven Ravens. After shoulder surgery the next spring, Coach Johnson attended spring training with the Cincinnati Reds, and played in the Northern League for the Madison Blackwolf. Following his professional baseball career, Coach Johnson has taught at Brunswick High School in Brunswick, Georgia, Lafayette High School in Williamsburg, Virginia, Walton High School in Marietta, Georgia, and three years as pitching coach at North Gwinnett
High School in Suwannee, Georgia. While at North, the Bulldogs made the playoffs in each year of his tenure as the pitching coach, advancing to the Elite 8 in 2007 and the Sweet 16 in 2009.


Coach Johnson has also coached at the collegiate level for four years. He served as the pitching coach at The College of William and Mary in 2001, where he helped lead the Tribe to their first and only Colonial Athletic Association title and a spot in the Clemson Regional. He was also the pitching coach for three year at the University of Richmond, where he also served as the recruiting coordinator for one year.


In 1998, Coach Johnson was the pitching coach for the Newark Bears of the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball. During his coaching career, Coach Johnson has coached 28 players who have played professional baseball.


Coach Johnson and his wife Kristi, a former Duluth High School graduate, have three
children- Cooper, Audrey, and Elle.

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Jason Johnson

Varsity Head Coach

Billy Best

Asst. Varsity Coach

Coach Billy Best begins another season on the Mountain View Bears staff as a varsity assistant after a brief stint at Cannon County HS in Woodbury, TN, where he coached football and softball. Coach Best will work with hitters and infielders, and also coaches football and baseball at Mountain View. Prior to coming to Mountain View, he coached football and baseball at Peachtree Ridge High School, where he graduated in 2012. While in high school, coach played football and baseball, and then went on to play baseball at Georgia Gwinnett College, where he graduated in December of 2016.
 

Coach Best has a brother and sister both who were both athletes. Blake played football at the University of Kentucky and Brittany played volleyball at Peachtree Ridge High School and now attends Georgia. Coach Best is married to Ashley Beyke.

Kenny Knudsen

Freshman head coach

Kenny Knudsen begins his second season on the Mountain View Bears Baseball staff and will move to the role of Freshman Head Coach. Bringing with him a wealth of baseball knowledge and experience. Coach Knudsen graduated from North Gwinnett HS in 2011, and then played four seasons at Bryan College, TN from 2012-2015.


While playing at Bryan, Coach Knudsen was named Appalachian Athletic Conference Freshman of the Year in 2012, Appalachian Athletic Conference Pitcher of the Year in 2015, NAIA All-American in 2015, and threw a No-Hitter against Taylor University in 2015.
Coach Knudsen also currently holds several records at Bryan, including- Most Wins in a season (12), Lowest ERA in a season (1.50), Lowest BAA in a season (.163), Most Career Appearances (84), Most Career Saves (18), Most Career Strikeouts (248), and Lowest Career ERA (2.56).


Following his college career, Coach Knudsen signed with the Schaumburg Boomers, IL in 2016, and the Traverse City Beach Bums, MI in 2017-2018- both of the Independent Frontier League.


Head JV Baseball Coach at Traverse City West High School, MI (2018-2021). Coach Knudsen and his wife Brittany have a son Charlie and new baby girl Maisie.

Chris Hankins

Asst. Varsity Coach

Coach Hankins served four years through 2016 as the program’s second Dugout Club president, and is one of several key architects who helped to support Head Coach Jason Johnson in the development of the strong winning and positive culture of Mountain View baseball, the build-out of the top-notch facilities you see today, and the establishment of the lasting partnerships within the community. Coach Hankins brings over 30 years of experience as a coach in both baseball and football, coaching young men of varying ages from youth league, to elite high school travel, and collegiate summer league baseball. A Georgia transplant, Coach Hankins grew up in rural Mississippi (proud of his country roots) and played baseball and football for Grenada High School, earning Scholar Athlete of the Year in his senior campaign before moving on to study at Mississippi State University where he earned
his B.B.A. in Finance. He would later earn his Masters of Science in Finance from Georgia State
University.


Prior to the establishment of an official middle school baseball program at Mountain View, Coach Hankins served as the head coach for the feeder program and this class of young men would go on to form the nucleus of the high school varsity squad that would capture the school’s first ever region championship in any sport (2014) and Elite 8 appearance (2015) pushing the brink of a Final Four bid. The majority of these young men would go on to further their playing careers at some level collegiately
or professionally.


Coach Hankins married his college sweetheart, LaWanda, and they have a son Cameron, who played in the Mountain View program as part of the Region Championship and Elite 8 teams and was a Georgia Southern signee out of high school.

Dylan Sadler

Jr. Varsity head coach

Dylan Sadler begins this season on the high school staff at Mountain View as the Jr. Varsity Head Coach. He has served for several years coaching and building the middle school baseball program, and will work with outfielders, hitters and will also focus on baserunning and the bunt game. Coach Sadler has coached on the travel baseball circuit for five seasons as well, coaching and being a key contributor to the overall success and the growth of both the middle school baseball program and the
US Elite program here in Georgia. Coach Sadler is currently attending Georgia Gwinnett College, where he is working on a degree in Business.

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