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LSU Tigers hire Arizona Wildcats baseball coach Jay Johnson

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Mainieri walks away proudly after final LSU game (3:27)

Paul Mainieri and others reflect on his 15 seasons at the helm of the Tigers' baseball program as he says humbly, "I did my best." (3:27)

LSU has hired Arizona's Jay Johnson to be the Tigers' next head baseball coach, with Johnson calling the move "the opportunity of a lifetime."

Johnson, 44, guided Arizona to two College World Series appearances in his six seasons in Tucson, including a trip this season where the Wildcats lost to Vanderbilt and Stanford.

He replaces Paul Mainieri, who resigned after 15 seasons at LSU. The Tigers lost in the super regional this season to Tennessee. Their last College World Series appearance came in 2017.

"The interest we received from great coaches across the country was significant," LSU athletic director Scott Woodward said in a statement. "Ultimately, Jay's track record of postseason success, explosive lineups, and highly-ranked recruiting classes set him apart from the field. He's made an immediate impact at every program he's led, and he's one of the most energetic, innovative, and focused coaches in America."

Johnson was 208-114 at Arizona. He led the Wildcats to the national championship game in his first season in 2016, losing to Coastal Carolina.

He takes over an LSU program that has won six national championships, the last coming in 2009.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.