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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Legendary Washington state high school baseball coach Dave Johnson honored at Spokane Indians game

Spokane native and retired Ephrata High School head baseball coach Dave Johnson, the winningest baseball coach in Washington state history, was honored by the Spokane Indians before their game against the Tri-City Dust Devils at Avista Stadium on Saturday.

Johnson, who graduated from Shadle Park and Whitworth, coached at Ephrata for 36 years with a record of 687-202-2, a winning percentage of .772. He guided the Tigers to eight state titles, five runner-up finishes, two third-place trophies and one fourth place.

Johnson and his 1977 team had a reunion during the game to celebrate the 45th anniversary of the first of Johnson’s eight state titles.

“It’s quite an honor,” Johnson said before he threw out the ceremonial first pitch of the game.

“It was great to see so many who came for the reunion. It’s really quite an event. It’s good to be back in Spokane, where I grew up and spent a lot of time out at the Indians’ stadium when the Dodgers used to be here in AAA.”

Johnson is a member of the Washington Interscholastic Athletics Association Hall of Fame, a charter member of the Washington Baseball Coaches Hall of Fame, the North Central Washington’s Male Team Coach of the Decade (1980s), and was initial recipient of the Washington State Small School Coach of the Year, an award that bears his name.

“For 36 years, it was a pleasure to be at Ephrata,” Johnson said.