Associate Head Coach
Chris Johnson returned for a second tour of duty with the Quakers’ baseball team in November 2014 as the team's pitching coach. He assumed recruiting coordinator responsibilities in 2015. Johnson also assisted the Quakers' pitchers and helped with recruiting from 2007-08.
In Johnson's first stint with the Quakers, he helped land a number of key performers, including All-American Kyle Wooden '11, 2008 Old Dominion Athletic Conference home run champion Brad Buchman and starting pitchers Drew Gurkin and Ryan Hairston.
Before returning to Guilford, Johnson coached from 2010-14 at Rockingham Community College (RCC) in Wentworth, North Carolina, where he served two years as Director of Student Life and Athletics and two seasons as head baseball coach and student life program assistant.
Johnson helped turn RCC’s baseball program around and compiled a 39-51 overall record. Armed with two healthy recruiting classes, the Eagles posted a 24-24 record in 2012 and made a nine-win improvement in conference play from the preceding year. In addition to enhancing the school’s baseball facility and upgrading the team’s competitiveness, he helped 11 students graduate to four-year institutions, including four who received baseball scholarships. Seven Eagles earned RCC academic honors, including Zac Royals, who was the baseball team’s first recipient of the National Junior College Athletic Association’s Exemplary Academic Achievement Award winner. Johnson signed 19 students to National Letters of Intent among his 23-man recruiting class in 2011, including transfer DeSean Anderson, who was drafted by the Boston Red Sox.
As RCC's athletic director Johnson oversaw the operation of the school's four-team athletics department, including compliance, scheduling, and personnel and event management. The baseball team won a school-record 26 games and the Eagles' volleyball squad won a conference title, the first by any RCC women's team. Johnson served as the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division III Region X Baseball Chairman and oversaw RCC's transition from an NJCAA Division II institution to NJCAA Division III. He also found time to assist Toronto Blue Jays area scout John Hendricks.
Johnson started his college coaching career in 2001 as a volunteer assistant and outfielders coach for his alma mater, Southeastern College in Lakeland, Florida. He spent the 2004 and 2005 seasons as a volunteer pitching coach and recruiting assistant at Wilkes (N.C.) Community College. He helped Wilkes enjoy a 16-win improvement and shaved nearly three runs off of the team's earned run average. Johnson's second recruiting class at Wilkes featured 18 students, including future North Carolina A&T State University infielder Nick Mayo and Andrew Morton, who starred at Belmont Abbey College before signing a free-agent contract with the San Diego Padres.
Johnson earned his first full-time position in 2010 when he was named Montreat College’s pitching coach.
Johnson has also coached in the high school ranks, including one season at Monacan High School in Richmond, Virginia. Monacan doubled its win total in Johnson's tenure and had two students garner all-district recognition. The 2009 season saw a season sweep of rival Midlothian High School, as well as wins over regionally ranked squads from Cosby High School and James River High School. While there, he served as a staff instructor at the Richmond Baseball Academy South.
In 2006 Johnson was the top assistant coach at North Forsyth High School in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. The nationally ranked Vikings went 30-2, won the Metro Conference championship, and reached the 4A state semifinals. He helped develop NCAA Division I standouts Dustin Ackley, Wes Hobson and Addison Johnson, all of whom were selected in the Major League Baseball (MLB) draft in either 2009 or 2010.
Johnson was the top assistant for coach Mike Ferguson's Bartow (Fla.) High School team that won a district title, a regional championship, and played for the 2002 Florida 3A State Championship before falling to Jacksonville Bolles in the final. That Bartow team produced two MLB draft picks (Tarrance Patterson, Jason Peacock) and one National Football League free agent signee (Alex Boston).
In 2003, Johnson moved to North Carolina and served as assistant baseball coach at Parkland High School.
Johnson has held coaching positions with the Post 128 Jr. American Legion program in Winston-Salem and with the Statesville Owls of the Southern Collegiate Baseball League. As the Owls' pitching coach, he had three hurlers picked for the league's all-star game, including former Quakers' pitcher Sammy Stuart '11. Statesville had two future MLB draft selections that year, Andrew Rash (San Diego) and Mitch Conner (Milwaukee).
Johnson lettered one year at Lenoir (N.C.) Community College before finishing his college baseball career at Southeastern under head coach Scott Laing. He also played on the school’s basketball team one season and graduated with a psychology degree in 2002.
Johnson’s father, Larry, played professional baseball from 1966-1973. Signed in 1966 by Pittsburgh Pirates scout Syd Thrift, Johnson spent the majority of his career in the Baltimore Orioles’ minor-league system.
Chris resides in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, with his wife, Rachel, and their son, Landon-Kai.
Guilford Hall of Famer Tommy Grayson ‘68 returned for a second tour of duty with the Quakers’ baseball team in the fall of 2010 as the team’s bench coach, while also assisting with hitters and infielders. Grayson also assisted with his alma mater’s baseball team from 1993-1995 and in 1997.
Grayson spent four seasons in the Detroit Tigers’ minor-league system, where he reached the Triple-A level. He earned NAIA All-America honors for the Quakers in 1967 and 1968, was the Carolinas Conference Player of the Year in 1967 and was voted Guilford’s Best Undergraduate Male Athlete in 1966. Grayson helped coach Stuart Maynard’s ‘43 baseball team to a 28-9 record in 1966 and a NAIA World Series appearance, where the Quakers finished fourth overall.
The Guilford graduate has also spent much of his coaching career on the gridiron, assisting with the Quakers’ football team on multiple occasions. Grayson served as the wide receivers and tight ends coach in 2002, worked with the defensive line in 2003 and coached running backs in 2004.
Grayson retired from a distinguished high school teaching and football coaching career in 2002. He spent seven years as a teacher and head football coach at Rockingham County High School from 1995-2002. Grayson enjoyed 16 years as the head football coach at Eastern Guilford High School where he compiled an 80-81 record and won a Division II state title in 1981. He also coached NFL receiver Torry Holt at Eastern Guilford.
During his time at Guilford, Grayson set multiple records including single season batting average (.409), triples (7) and slugging percentage (.765), which still rank among Guilford’s all-time leaders. Grayson also set marks for single season rushing yards (775) and touchdowns (10). He was enshrined in the Guilford College Athletics Hall of Fame in 1982. He is also a member of the Chowan College and Davidson County (NC) Sports Halls of Fame.