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Metter's Johnson snags extra job with Effingham County baseball
In addition to leading the Rebels' baseball team, he will serve as the wide receiver coach and special teams coordinator for football. - photo by Mark Lastinger/staff

SPRINGFIELD -- Chris Johnson has turned quite a double play.

Shortly after agreeing to become an assistant football coach at Effingham County, Johnson has been named the Rebels' head baseball coach -- a job that wasn't open when he decided to move from Metter.

The Effingham County job opened when Brett Griffin resigned early this month after leading the Rebels to the Region 2-AAAAAA championship and the second round of the state playoffs. He spent 13 years at the helm, going 24-11 in his final one.

"Even though I've been to several different places, Effingham has been kind of dear to my heart," Johnson said. "I've got some friends who I coached with there years ago and I've always kept up with them and what Effingham has done. They've done a great job and had a lot of success.

"Coach Griffin and his staff have done a great job,. Hopefully, we can come in and continue that success, and keep building the program. Hopefully, great things will happen for us."

Johnson, a Statesboro native, just finished his third season as Metter's head baseball coach. The former Georgia Southern football player turned to baseball while he was in college, playing at Brewton-Parker.

"After playing a year at Brewton-Parker, I had a chance to go back to Georgia Southern but I had a coaching opportunity open and I knew that's what I wanted to do. I decided not to step back on the field and play anymore," Johnson said. "I made the move, I think, in 1988 and I've done it ever since."

In addition to Metter, Johnson, who will coach wide receivers fand coordinate special teams for coach Buddy Holder's football team, has worked at Pinewood Christian, Liberty County, Newnan, South Effingham, Forsyth Central and West Forsyth. He headed South Effingham's baseball program for the first six years of its existence, starting in 1996.

Johnson took a short break from coaching high school baseball so he could coach his younger soons. He returned to the prep diamond at Metter.

"It was a blessing to coach my sons and we created memories that will last me a lifetime," he said. "It was well worth stepping away from it and spending that time with my family."

Johnson feels blessed again.

"The opportuntiy to be a head baseball coach at such a great place was something I was very interested in," he said. "I was really fortunate to be afforded that opportunity with a great bunch of kids and a great staff. It's a great school."

Johnson will get right to work. Summer baseball is less than two weeks away.

"On May 30 and 31, we'll start practicing a little bit, and that next week we'll start playing some games," he said. "We'll play games through the month of June and go from there. We're jumping right in with both feet.

"That's for sure."