The Union St. Journal: Cherry Creek High School's official news source

Union St. Journal

The Union St. Journal: Cherry Creek High School's official news source

Union St. Journal

The Union St. Journal: Cherry Creek High School's official news source

Union St. Journal

50 Years in the Making: Legendary Baseball Coach Marc Johnson Announces Retirement

Quinn Rudnick
Baseball coach Marc Johnson, who has been coaching at Creek since 1973, announced his retirement in October, marking the end of a 50 year career. Over the course of his time at Creek, Johnson has led the team to a number of victories and state records, and has also worked to foster the team’s positive relationship with the community.

Marc Johnson has been coaching Creek baseball since 1973.

Over his 50 years of coaching, he has accumulated eight state titles, six runner-ups, 846 wins, and 32 Centennial League championships. But at 78, Johnson has made the call to retire.

“I didn’t want to leave the cupboard bare,” Johnson said. “I knew I had a really strong junior and senior class coming back, so I thought this was the right time, because we’re going to be a very talented team this year.”
Moving forward, Johnson is planning to spend more time with baseball, through spending more time with his family in Arizona.

“It’s time to turn the reins over, and I’ve got a couple of grandsons playing at Chandler High School in Arizona, and I’m going to go watch them play,” Johnson said. “If I can’t handle not coaching, I’ll volunteer to be a bench coach for somebody.”

Johnson and his teams have a staggering record, and have held the most wins for any high school in Colorado since beating Grandview 6-5 on May 12, 2021, bringing the team to 808 overall wins. Over his career, Johnson has coached 53 players who would go on to be drafted by the MLB, and six of which would officially play in the major leagues.

But state records, wins, and the major leagues aren’t all that matter to Johnson. His real goal with his team is to help his players develop into kind, well-rounded adults.

“Something I’ve learned from Coach J is to always be positive,” senior varsity catcher Brayden Yasuzawa said. “He posts his positive thoughts of the day, which are a helpful reminder to be a nice and caring human and athlete.”

Even with his time at Creek coming to a close, Johnson wants to continue making an impact on the school and its students. During his retirement announcement speech, he encouraged his players to always be good people.

“A better you makes a better we,” he said. “And a better we makes a better team. These things are more important than wins and losses.”

One of the things that Johnson focuses on is his players mental health, whether or not it has anything to do with baseball.

“He looks out for us. Whatever we need he lets us know he’s there to help, [like] reaching out to college coaches, talking to a teacher, or mental health issues,” senior varsity player Eddie Esquivel said. “J’s door is always open.”

In order to work towards having stronger team game play, Johnson focuses on players’ game play mentality the most, instead of purely physical talent.

“Coach J helps keep the team mentally on track and helps us focus on the plan for the game,” Yasuzawa said. “Before games he gives a debrief of the other team and tells us what to expect throughout the game. We’ve been the underdog and top dog so he has to make sure we stay ready for anything.”

Johnson’s dedication to the team goes beyond Creek as well. One of his goals is also to help the community around the school, through volunteering, cleaning, and much more.

“He has helped create many volunteer opportunities such as the Thanksgiving food drive, volunteer coaching during hitting camps, and maintaining the beautiful field we play on,” Yasuzawa said.

This year, most players hope that Johnson’s final season can come with a state title as well.

“I’m so blessed and honored to be part of coach J’s last season,” Esquivel said. “I expect the team will rally together, and with a little luck, send him out with a state win. “

As of November, there is no word of who will replace Johnson after his retirement, but the team is hopeful that their final season with him will not be any different, if not better.

“Coach will make sure our heads stay down and grind throughout the season until the final game,” Yasuzawa said. “I’m excited to be a part of his last year of coaching and thankful to be able to know Coach Johnson not only as a coach but also as a caring human being.”

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About the Contributor
Quinn Rudnick
Quinn Rudnick, Editor-in-Chief
Hello, my name is Quinn Rudnick, and I am the USJ's Editor-in-Chief. I am a senior at CCHS - and this is my fourth year on staff at the USJ. I hold a strong passion for both journalism and photojournalism, and intend to pursue a career in politics and law. As a journalist, I strive to present information to the student body and beyond in a factual and digestible fashion. The importance of journalism is based in allowing the public to understand what's happening around them, so that is what I strive to do. I write a lot about local and global politics, as well as local theatre and events around the school. You can find me at a lot of Creek sports games, fueling my passion for sports photography and reporting. Outside of the USJ, I follow Formula One racing, the Nuggets and the Avs, and I love being outside, whether that's on hikes, or by snowboarding and mountain biking. 

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