About

The Purpose:

The Winning Run Foundation is a non-profit organization established for the purpose of publishing athletic-related devotional materials.

The Objectives:

  1. To produce and distribute athletic-related devotional books, tracts and videos for the evangelization and discipleship of men, women, boys and girls.
  2. To share Jesus Christ in speaking opportunities at athletic banquests, retreats, church services and other group meetings of all ages.
  3. To conduct baseball camps and clinics promoting fundamentals of the game in an atmosphere conducive to development of youth.

The Founder:

After 40 years of coaching (30 as a collegiate head baseball coach), Elliot Johnson left coaching in 2011. His overall collegiate record was 921-499, which ranked 8th among active coaches on the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics career victory list (17th all-time) and 8th in career winning percentage (13th all-time).

Coach Johnson’s Trevecca teams won three conference and two NAIA District titles during his 11 years at the Nashville school (1980-1990). His Olivet Nazarene University teams won four conference, two NAIA Regional, and one NCCAA National championship from 2000-2007. Two of those teams appeared in the NAIA World Series (2002-2003). For many years, his teams were among the NAIA’s best, peaking at #5 in both 2003 and 2004. His 2008 Southern Nazarene team achieved the highest ranking ever for that school (17th). Coach Johnson was named “coach of the year” a total of eight times.

In 1993, Johnson completed a Doctor of Arts degree at Middle Tennessee State University. His video combining youth baseball fundamentals with positive values has been required viewing for NYSCA certification of youth baseball coaches ever since. He has authored 30 athletic-related devotional books and six baseball videos, and he has patented the Stride Guide, a hitting instructional device.

On separate tours with Athletes in Action and other organizations, Johnson has coached college baseball players in games, clinics, and evangelistic outreaches in the South Pacific, Korea, Taiwan, Mexico, Alaska, Turkey, and the central United States. He served six years as NAIA District 24 baseball chairman in Tennessee and seven years as NAIA national rater/oversight committee member in Texas and Oklahoma. He has directed NAIA district/regional tournaments and has served on boards of directors of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes in Kansas, Tennessee, and Chicago. For over 30 years, Johnson has directed a charitable foundation, the Winning Run Foundation.

Coach Johnson is a member of the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference Hall of Fame, the Trevecca Nazrene University Hall of Fame, and the American Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame. In 2008, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes awarded him the Jerry Kindall Character in Coaching Award. He has been blessed to recruit and coach numerous NAIA All-Americans and professional players, including Ben Zobrist who still plays for the Tampa Bay Rays. Fourteen of his former players or coaches have become college baseball coaches and seven have attained head jobs.

Coach Johnson began publication of Trail Ride Magazine in 2012. He speaks at cowboy churches and other venues around the country while distributing the magazine. At home, he cares for his horses, provides horsemanship lessons to young riders, and serves as a personal athletic trainer to young athletes.

Through 44 years of marriage, his wife Judy has remained his biggest fan. Both sons, Todd and Benjamin, played together on his LeTourneau University teams. Todd and wife Jennifer direct FCA at Ole Miss while raising daughter Kaitlyn (4) and son Tyler (3). Ben and wife Katherine direct the Heart of Texas FCA in Waco while raising daughters Ava (5), Haley (3), and son Levi (1).

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