GRANVILLE — The Pittsburgh Pirates announced Wednesday the West Virginia Black Bears’ coaching staff for the 2020 season.
The team will be led by manager Jonathan Johnston in his first year with the Pirates organization and as a professional baseball coach.
Johnston is joined by pitching coach Bryan Hickerson and hitting coach Jim Horner.
Johnston is the fifth manager in Black Bears history.
A former minor league catcher, Johnston made his name as a coach at the University of California, San Diego, where he operated primarily as a hitting/catchers coach and coordinator.
From there, he took an assistant coaching position at UNC Asheville for four years before returning to UC San Diego in 2018.
A graduate of the Naval Academy, Johnston played four years of college baseball for Navy and was drafted by the Oakland Athletics in the 42nd round of the 2007 MLB Draft.
However, before his professional career could take off, Johnston was called up to active duty in 2008.
He served in the Navy for more than four years on multiple tours of duty in the Middle East before he returned to play one season of baseball for the Stockton Ports, the Class-A Advanced…