Meet the Coaching Staff
Dominick Johnson has spent his whole life around the game of baseball. He is son of Deron Johnson, who spent 30 years coaching and playing in the Major Leagues. This allowed Dominick at a young age to be mentored and exposed to many of baseball’s greats. To name a few, Steve Carlton, Bob Gibson, Tom Seaver, and many coaches and players throughout MLB history. Dominick was fortunate to study under Gus Hoefling, who was the first ever strength and condition coach in MlB history and expert in Northern Salutation Kung Fu. He also learned from Gus for seven years and taught his conditioning program for over twenty years. Dominick was also able to be mentored from Karl Kuehl and mentioned in his book The Mental Toughness Baseball's Winning Edge. Kuehl taught him routine and concentration techniques, which he still uses with his players today. Dominick followed his father footsteps and spent several years pitching in the Minor Leagues. He took a break from baseball and spent time in the business world, but wanted to return to baseball and became a pitching coach for Poway High School. In a span of five years, he assisted the team to 3 CIF titles. Dominick has currently been a private pitching instructor for over 13 years. He developed and coached hundreds of high school, college, minor, and major league pitchers. Dominick’s high school pitchers have received 147 college scholarships while amassing 28 pitchers of the year, and 53 first team all-conference. Over the course of his 13 years, he developed and worked with 7 world series winners, 4 Allstars, and over 100 MILB and 50 MLB players. He has had over 82 draft picks, 2 number one overall picks, 5 first round picks, 54 top ten round picks, and his pitchers have received over $33,584,060 in signing bonuses. Dominick’s expertise and reputation have allowed him to now work with and develop a select group of players. He currently works with an elite group of 16 Major League and 34 Minor League players from all MLB teams during the offseason. His major league pitchers have collected an impressive war total of 48.9. .In addition to being private pitching instructor, Dominick serves as pitching coach for Saint Katherine's University, a board member for Titleist Performance Institute (On Base-Division), and Vice President of Diamond Solutions Analytics Player Development Consulting Firm. Dominick Johnson resides in Poway, California with his six children and wife Kelly.
Deron currently is the Poway High School hitting coach. While there, he has coached over 80 All-League performers and 6 Team USA players. He also has over 100 past and current college players, three of which have been All-Conference Players of the Year in the Mountain West Conference, Big West Conference, and Big 10 Conference. Coach Deron also has coached 10 Big League Players, including 3 current players: Austin Wynns, Kevin Newman, and Alex Dickerson. He works with numerous Minor League players in the offseason as well. Prior to coaching, Coach Deron also played 3 years of professional baseball and 4 years at SDSU.
Coach Jason “Bruno” Brunansky is a 2008 Poway High alum. He lettered three years in baseball for head coach Bob Parry, hitting .371 and .331 his junior and senior seasons as the team’s lead-off hitter. He was named All-Palomar League in 2007 and was a Tampa Bay Rays Scout Team member. He was also a member of the all-academic team, graduating with a 4.0 GPA and was in the top five percent of his class. Jason played at The University of Kansas for four years after high school. He played 137 games there, with a .968 fielding percentage and a batting average of .310 in 2010. Outside of Crush, Coach Bruno coaches at Poway High School and attends CSU San Marcos in pursuit of an economics degree. His father, Tom, played 14 seasons in the majors with the California Angels, Minnesota Twins, St. Louis Cardinals, Boston Red Sox and Milwaukee Brewers, and has also served as the Minnesota Twins hitting coach. Coach Bruno helps with the High School Crush teams and is also the varsity outfield coach at Poway High school.
Coach Nick Carmichael is a Rancho Bernardo High School alum. He lettered in baseball, track and field, and football while attending. Following graduation, Nick continued his education at the University of Redlands where he played football as a tight end. In 2011, he transferred to Palomar College and was drafted by the Baltimore Orioles in the 17th round. Opting to return for another year at Palomar, he was drafted by the Detroit Tigers in the 24th round of the 2012 draft and signed. While at Palomar, Nick was on the 2011 and 2012 All-Pacific Coast Conference team with a combined ERA of 2.76. Nick was with the Detroit Tigers from 2012 to 2014 and posted a career ERA of 3.25.
Nick graduated from CSU San Marcos with Dean’s List and Cum Laude honors and holds a degree in Business Finance. Along with coaching Crush, Nick has coached baseball at Poway High School since 2015.
Coach Eric Eckley played two years of baseball at South Mountain Community College, where his team was the NJCAA regional champion in 2014. Eric went on to play at the University of Incarnate Word in San Antonio, Texas. Eric also played at Grossmont High School and was an assistant coach at St. Katherines College in San Marcos last season. Eric currently works with the Crush 16u, 17u, 18u, and College teams, and occasionally helps our younger Crush teams.
Coach Caleb Guy graduated from Christian Life Academy in 2013, after playing 4 years of baseball and also lettering in basketball and volleyball. He began coaching with the Crush in 2014. He currently attends CSU San Marcos and is working towards a degree in business administration. Caleb also plays for the club team at CSU San Marcos. He is the team's Game 1 starter and also plays 1st base and outfield. In the 2018 season, he batted .317. You will see coach Caleb coaching any of our teams from 11u to 16u. Coach Caleb also currently coaches the Poway High School Freshman baseball team.
Mike has over 15 years of coaching experience. He has had assistant and head coach roles at Serra HS, West Hills HS, Madison HS, Torrey Pines HS and RB HS. Before joining Crush, he coached travel ball for Frozen Ropes and Bones Nation Baseball Club as well as summer collegiate ball for the San Diego Force Baseball Club for 8 years. Mike played high school ball at Morse High School and also played and managed in the SDABL for over 25 years. He currently teaches at Mt. Carmel High School.
Deron Johnson III
Deron Johnson the Third is the son of Deron Johnson. Deron was Poway's starting varsity catcher his sophmore, junior, and senior seasons and is committed to play at San Diego State University this year. As a senior at Poway, Deron hit .336 with a .408 on base percentage. Deron is a Crush alum.
Nick attended West Hills HS where the baseball team won the league title in 2003, the first in school history. As a senior, Nick went 7-4 as a pitcher and notched the highest batting average of .450 in the league in 2003. Nick attended San Diego Mesa College where he was Pitcher of the Year, an all-conference honorable mention, and Athlete of the Week in 2006. In his 2006 season, he recorded an 8-4 record while yielding 18 walks in 100 innings pitched, and an ERA of 2.90. He also recorded the most stolen bases in 2006 while at Mesa. Nick went on to play at the University of San Diego in 2007 and 2008. While there, he had a career pitching record of 7-2 in 105 innings with 62 strikeouts. Nick previously coached travel ball with the San Diego Deacons and currently is a varsity baseball coach at Mt. Carmel High School.
Coach "Nico" played high school ball at Santana High School where he was awarded 1st team All-Grossmont League and 2nd team CIF. He also received the Sultan's Big Stick Award after recording a .413 average with 23 RBI's and 2 homeruns in 2007. That year he was ranked as the 13th catcher in the state and the 60th catcher in the nation by Perfect Game. He chose to play at Grossmont College before transferring to Kansa Wesleyan University to play NAIA for the Coyotes. Nick finished his playing career with the semi-pro Barona Stars, who were coached by Mickey Deutschman at the time. Before coaching with the Crush, Nick coached the SD Diamonds who were ranked #5 nationally and won a 14u Pony World Championship. He currently coaches several of the Crush age groups, as well as the Poway American Legion team and the Poway High JV team.
Coach Chad is a Rancho Bernardo High School baseball alum. He played second base and shortstop on the varsity baseball team and was awarded the Bronco award his senior year (.986 fielding and .354 batting.) Chad then attended California Lutheran University, where he played baseball and recorded starts at second base, shortstop, third base, and outfield. He also recorded some innings catching for CLU before graduating with a BS in 1996. Chad started developing his love for coaching in 2005 as a volunteer with the 4S Ranch Little League Juniors Team. Chad was asked to coach and instruct local baseball talent with the San Diego Eagles, a non-profit baseball club. Chad was a head and assistant coach for various Eagles teams (10U – 18U) from 2008 to 2014. Eagles players from these teams have gone on to play at the high school, college, and professional levels. Chad has been coaching with the San Diego Crush since 2017 and coaches the 15u - 18u teams. He is also an assistant coach for the Poway High School Varsity Baseball Team.
Brady is a current sophomore pitcher and utility player at the University of St. Katherine. Brady played with Crush from 8th grade through high school and played with the college Crush team this summer. He played under coach Deron Johnson at Poway High School for 4 years. Brady is majoring in Business Management at St. Katherine.
Poway High School Titan Players
Along with our current coaches, the Crush staff is backed by a handful of PHS Titan players who can be spotted at various practices on an ongoing basis. These players are all Crush alumni and often play on our high school and collegiate Crush teams.