Johnson takes over Southwest softball program
Published 10:20 am Thursday, July 16, 2015
SUMMIT – A press conference was held Tuesday morning to recognize Shea Johnson as the new head softball coach at Southwest Mississippi Community College. Johnson had spent the past four seasons as the Lady Bears’ assistant coach.
Dr. Bill Ashley, Southwest Vice-President for Student Affairs and Director of Athletics, said, “We are happy to offer this opportunity to Coach Johnson as he has had success in the past and we look forward to his continued success and hope to build our softball program into a very competitive MACJC team.”
Johnson said he was “very excited about getting the job”, saying it was a “dream come true.” He thanked Southwest president Dr. Steve Bishop and Director of Athletics Dr. Bill Ashley “for the opportunity to become the head coach (and for having) enough faith in what I do and my ability to get it done.”
A native of Chalmette, La., Johnson was a two-year member of the Southwest football team and received his A. A. degree in 1988. He then went on to obtain a B.A. degree in Education from Southeastern Louisiana University in 1991.
Johnson is a veteran of over 20 years in the coaching profession. As head coach at Trist Middle School at Chalmette, he won championships in both baseball and football. At Slidell, La. High School, he accumulated an 82-38 record in seven seasons as head softball coach.
His final stop before arriving at Southwest, he was at Northshore High School (Slidell) where he served as assistant softball coach, defensive coordinator for the football team and a health instructor. He helped guide the softball team to six district titles, 10 state playoff appearances in 10 seasons and four Top-Eight appearances.
Now that he has assumed the reins of the program, Johnson said he was anxious “to get out and start recruiting as the new head coach, not as an assistant and just move the program forward.”
Johnson said former head coach Patsy Sandifer “was here 10 years and did a great job in establishing the program” and now he wanted “to try to do some things to push us over the top, to get above .500 consistently and make the playoffs.”
As baseball did last season, the MACJC softball schedule next season will feature a round-robin format with all teams in the league playing each other. Johnson said he is “excited about that” and that he thinks “that’s going to give us an opportunity to be more competitive throughout the state.”