Mark Johnson grew up in Las Vegas, New Mexico, where he was an outstanding football and baseball player at Robertson High. He entered the University of New Mexico where he enjoyed success as an outfielder, earning All-Western Athletic Conference honors during his career from 1963-67.
Johnson earned a bachelor's degree in science and physical education from UNM, then returned to complete a master's in recreation and physical education. He headed east to play professional baseball in the New York Mets organization from 1967-69. Mark then began his lifelong passion of coaching young men.
His first teaching and coaching stint was at UNM, followed by 15 seasons as an assistant at Arizona, Mississippi State and Texas A&M. IN 1984, he became Texas A&M's head coach, a position he held for 21 years. He became had coach at Sam Houston State in 2006.
Johnson left A&M as the school's career leader in wins, plus his teams captured five conference titles, three NCAA Regional championships and made two appearances in the College World Series (1993 and '99).
Johnson placed 36 players in Major League Baseball and coached 39 All-Americans. Johnson was national coach of the year by The Sporting News in 1999 and a six-time pick for conference coach of the year. He inducted into the American Baseball Coaches Hall of Fame in 2001, Texas Baseball Hall of Fame in 2002, and received the Fellowship of Christian Athletes Jerry Kindall Character in Coaching Award in 2007.