North Baseball Coaches
Varsity Head Coach
2018/19 marks the 13th year at McKinney North for Coach Jim Gatewood.
As head coach of the Bulldogs he has led the Bulldogs to three district championships and a trip to the State Quarter-Finals.
Coach Gatewood also coached the McKinney Marshalls, of the Texas Collegiate League, during the summer of 2008.
He led the team to the TCL Championship for only the second time in franchise history.
Since 1988 he has coached in over 1000 games. 646 as a college assistant and 495 as a head coach.
His teams have won 721 of those 1141 games.
At Alabama Coach Gatewood was the third base coach, but also coached the catchers and infielders.
He coached the 2002 Johnny Bench Award Winner, Jeremy Brown. In 2004, his infield finished third in school history with a .969 fielding percentage.
In 2014 SB Nation named Coach Gatewood as the top recruiter in Alabama history in its Alabama Baseball All-Time Team.
Before his success at Alabama, Coach Gatewood was the Assistant Coach at Malvern High School in Arkansas. He helped lead the 1988 team to the State Semifinals for the first time in school history.
He then became an Assistant Coach at Northwestern State University in Louisiana from 1988 to 1990. The 1990 team set a then school record with 38 wins and his infield lead the country in defense that year with a .980 fielding percentage.
He left NSU to become the Head Coach at Richardson High School from 1990 to 1998.
Henderson State University
Coach Gatewood was a catcher at Henderson State University in Arkansas from 1983-1987, where he was named the NAIA All District 17 team in 1986.
Coach Gatewood and his wife Lee have been married for 28 years and have two daughters, Rachel and Grace.
- 2007 DISTRICT CHAMPS
- 2008 DISTRICT CHAMPS
- 2009 STATE QUARTER-FINALIST
- 2010 DISTRICT RUNNER UP
- 2013 DISTRICT CHAMPS
- 2014 AREA FINALIST
- 2015 AREA FINALIST
- 2016 AREA FINALIST
- 2017 DISTRICT RUNNER-UP
- 2019 DISTRICT CHAMPS
- 2019 BI-DISTRICT CHAMPS
- 2019 AREA CHAMPS
- 2019 REGIONAL QUARTER FINALIST
Prior to coming to McKinney North he was an assistant at the University of Alabama for eight years. During his time at Alabama the team accomplished the following:
- Four- 40+ win seasons
- Five NCAA Regional Appearances
- Two NCAA Regional Championships (1999 & 2006)
- Three SEC Tournament Championships
- One SEC Regular Season Championship (2006)
- 1999 College World Series (Third Place)
To his credits, he is proud to have coached the following Major League Players:
- Alex Avila---Arizona Diamondbacks (All Star)
- Matt Downs---Houston Astros
- Tommy Hunter---Philadelphia Phillies
- Wade LeBlanc---Seattle Mariners
- David Robertson---Philadelphia Phillies (All Star)
- Jimmy Nelson—Milwaukee Brewers
- Mike Bolsinger—Toronto Blue Jays
- Lance Cormier---Arizona Diamondbacks
- Andy Phillips---New York Yankees
- Taylor Tankersley---Miami Marlins
- Jeremy Brown---Oakland A’s
Varsity Assistant Coach
Russell Lewis has been coaching baseball for over 18 years. He has coached at the select level for six years. In 2000, he graduated from Northwood University with a BBA in Business Management.
When asked about his wife Brennan, Coach Lewis replies, “She is very supportive, loving, beautiful, and keeps me in line. Through her and God, my path stays straight.” Seven-year old Macie is his little girl – his “heart beat”. “She has the best smile in the world and has great energy.” The Lewis's son Carter (future slugger) is three years old and is another gift from God.
While at Northwood University, Lewis played for the Knights and had a stellar senior year. He was on the All American Team, Regional Player of the Year 2000, Conference MVP and 2000 All Conference. Russell played 2 years of Minor League Baseball with the Boston Red Sox and St. Louis Cardinals’ from 2000-2002 as a utility infielder and outfielder.
He loves to fish, golf, and spend time with his family. When asked about his favorite aspect of being a coach, Russell answered, “I love having the chance to impact young men, to help them with their character. I love to see them work so hard for a common goal. I love to see them get it. It feels great to know I’ve been able to influence them in a positive way.”
Varsity Assistant Coach
McKinney North is excited to welcome home former bulldog Kindle Ladd. He has spent the last two years serving as pitching coach at Braswell and Duncanville HS
Ladd, who pitched at the University of Oklahoma for four seasons returns home to lead the bulldog pitching staff. At North he was a four year starter from 2007-2010 and still holds the single season strikeout record with 119.
Assistant Varsity Coach and Head JV Coach
Kraig Johnson has been coaching baseball for 14 years. He comes to McKinney North from a 5 year stint coaching at Anna High School. He started his college career at Grayson County College and graduated from Southeastern Oklahoma State University with a degree in Math Education. He enjoys his time off the field spending time with his wife Heather. He also enjoys golf and Texas Ranger Baseball. Coach Johnson is excited to be able to be a part of the baseball tradition here at North and he looks forward to seeing what these young men are able to accomplish through their hard work and dedication to the program. He admires what Eric Thomas said "When you want to succeed as bad as you want to breathe, then you'll be successful."