KANSAS CITY, Kansas -- Mark Johnson, who spent 21 years as the head baseball coach at Texas A&M and another five years leading the program at Sam Houston State, has been elected to the Fellowship of Christian Athletes’ Hall of Champions, FCA president and CEO Les Steckel announced today.
Johnson spent 41 years as a college baseball coach, spending 16 years as an assistant at New Mexico, Arizona, Mississippi State and Texas A&M prior to his 26 years as a head coach.
In 2007, Johnson was the recipient of FCA’s Jerry Kindall Character in Coaching Award, presented annually to the college or high school baseball coach who best exemplifies the Christian principles of character, integrity, serving, teamwork and excellence on and off the baseball field. During his career, he participated faithfully in FCA Huddles across the country, and often served as speaker at FCA events and as the head baseball clinician at FCA Camps.
Johnson has served on local FCA Boards of Directors in two locations, and his family has also been active in FCA. Johnson’s wife, Linda, has led coaches’ wives Bible studies, and his sons became Christians at FCA Camps and continue to be heavily involved in FCA activities.
A member of the American Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame, Johnson was honored by ABCA with the Lefty Gomez Award in 2012 and its first-ever Ethics in Coaching Award in 2009. In 1999, he was named Sporting News’ National Coach of the Year after leading Texas A&M to the College World Series, and the United States Olympic Committee’s Coach of the Year honor after guiding Team USA later that summer. He won six conference Coach of the Year honors and four regional Coach of the Year awards during his career, while leading his teams to 16 NCAA Tournaments and a pair of College World Series appearances.
Johnson joins former FCA national president Richard “Dick” Abel, San Diego-area wrestling coach Jose Campo and FCA Maryland and FCA Lacrosse board member and volunteer Frank Kelly III as the newest inductees into the Hall of Champions.
“This is a tremendous class entering the Hall of Champions ,” Steckel said. “These four men have spent decades making a tremendous impact on the world for Jesus Christ through the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. They epitomize FCA’s core values of integrity, serving, teamwork and excellence.”
With the addition of Campo, Abel, Johnson and Kelly, the Hall of Champions now includes 82 members. The honorees are determined by an FCA selection committee following a nomination process that includes staff, volunteers, athletes and members of the organization’s Board of Trustees. The full list of Hall of Champions members is available at FCA.org.
Each inductee will be honored with a plaque bearing a sculpture of their likeness that will remain in the Hall of Champions in FCA’s National Support Center in Kansas City. A replica will be presented to the honoree at an appropriate special event sometime this year.
The Hall of Champions was established in 1991 to honor individuals who have demonstrated a consistent commitment to Jesus Christ through the ministry of FCA. They are considered volunteer “All Stars” who have given above and beyond the call of duty and have upheld the Four Core Values of FCA – Integrity, Serving, Teamwork and Excellence.