Marc Wanaka, a longtime assistant to Jay Johnson, will join LSU’s coaching staff as the volunteer hitting coach, according to a report Wednesday from D1Baseball.com.
Wanaka and Johnson spent the last eight years together at Nevada and then Arizona, forming a duo known for their prolific offenses. Johnson hoped to keep Wanaka on his staff after he took the job at LSU.
With Wanaka onboard — as a volunteer, he will primarily get paid through summer camps — Johnson filled the last major opening on the new coaching staff. Last week, LSU hired former Arizona State assistant Jason Kelly as its pitching coach and pulled Dan Fitzgerald away from Dallas Baptist as its recruiting coordinator, filling the two slots for paid assistants.
Instead of losing players from its roster, LSU had added them once the final round of the 2021 Major League Baseball Draft ended Tuesday afternoon.
Johnson now has to determine roles on LSU’s support staff, such as the director of operations, but he has set some of the most important positions on his coaching staff.
Wanaka succeeded Eddie Smith, who left LSU before Johnson was hired to become the head coach at Utah Valley.
Wanaka and Johnson first coached together as assistants at Point Loma Nazarene in 2003. Wanaka then coached pitchers for a decade at a trio of western community colleges before he reunited with Johnson as Nevada’s volunteer assistant in 2014.
Over the next eight seasons — two at Nevada and six at Arizona — Johnson and Wanaka developed some of the top offenses in the country. Arizona never posted a batting average lower than .285 during their tenure.