Cubs Name Derek Johnson Minor League Pitching Coordinator

Cubs replace Dennis Lewallyn the Minor Pitching Coordinator

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The Chicago Cubs announced Tuesday that Derek Johnson would be replacing Dennis Lewallyn as the Cubs Minor League Pitching Coordinator. Lewallyn spent four highly successful campaigns as the Tennessee Smokies Pitching Coach from 2007-2010. Three of his four years Tennessee played in the Southern League Post season. The last two years Lewallyn acted as Minor League Pitching Coordinator but  is no longer with the organization. Johnson joins the Cubs after working 11 seasons in Nashville for Vandy. While there he coached current Smokies pitcher Casey Weathers.

CHICAGO – The Chicago Cubs today named Derek Johnson as the club’s minor league pitching coordinator.

Johnson, 41, joins the Cubs from Vanderbilt University, where he spent the last 11 seasons as the school’s pitching coach, including the last three as the school’s associate head coach/pitching coach. During his time at Vanderbilt, Johnson earned National Pitching Coach of the Year honors in 2004 and National Assistant Coach of the Year honors in 2010.

In 2011, Johnson helped lead Vanderbilt to the school’s first-ever College World Series appearance after guiding a Commodores pitching staff that featured eight hurlers that were selected in the Major League Baseball Draft, including a pair of first round/supplemental first round pitchers. The 2011 Commodores led the Southeastern Conference (SEC) in ERA and strikeouts.

During his time at Vanderbilt, Johnson helped develop six pitchers that were selected in the first round/supplemental first round of the MLB Draft, including David Price, who was selected first overall by Tampa Bay in 2007.

In 2011, Vanderbilt saw two pitchers selected in the first round/supplemental round: Sonny Gray (18th overall, Oakland) and Grayson Garvin (59th overall, Tampa Bay). Johnson’s additional first round picks include Mike Minor (seventh overall, Atlanta, 2009), Casey Weathers (eighth overall, Colorado, 2007) and Jeremy Sowers (sixth overall, Cleveland, 2004). Johnson also helped develop Jensen Lewis, who was selected by Cleveland in the third round of the 2005 Draft and has pitched four seasons in the big leagues.

Johnson began his coaching career at Eastern Illinois in 1994, a season after he was an All Mid-Continent Conference pitcher with the program. He then served as pitching coach for Southern Illinois from 1995-97 while also managing in summer ball.Johnson coached at Stetson University from 1998-2001 before joining Vanderbilt in 2002.

– CUBS – (Release courtesy of Cubs Media Relations)

Categories: Uncategorized


The Smokies Radio Network is the official radio network for the Chicago Cubs AA affiliate, the Tennessee Smokies. Daily broadcasts begin with the Pilot-Oscar Mayer pre-game show airing 15 minutes before every game. Following the game the broadcast concludes with the Edward Jones Investments post-game show. The Smokies Radio Network staff includes the Director of Broadcasting Mick Gillispie, Sr. Broadcast Assistant Greg Young, Broadcast Assistant Keith Brake and Broadcast Intern James Rowe.


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