Grace College’s softball team will have a series of coaching changes, beginning this spring.
Jay Johnson, an assistant coach for the Lady Lancers, has accepted a position as an assistant coach at NCAA Div. I Elon University (N.C.), starting Dec. 1. His wife Heather Johnson will finish the 2016 season at Grace, serving as an associate head coach until the conclusion of the spring season.
Genevieve Stoll, an assistant under Heather since 2013, will serve as the interim associate head coach alongside Heather. Stoll will assume all recruiting responsibilities and will assist Heather in the day-to-day operations of the program.
“We are very happy for Jay and his new coaching position at a DI institution. We look forward to a great spring season with Heather and Genevieve leading the Lady Lancers,” said Grace athletic director Chad Briscoe. “We are excited for Genevieve’s new role, and we look forward to continued success under both her and Heather at Grace this spring.”
Heather has coached Grace for the past seven seasons. She has rebuilt the Lady Lancers into a formidable program, climaxing in 2015. Grace posted its first winning season in 18 years and its first 30-win season in 21 years.
“We are looking forward to this new direction that the Lord has opened to return closer to family and to start a new stage in our lives. We know that the softball program will continue to grow, and we are thankful to have had a role in its growth,” Heather said. “I am thankful to President Bill Katip, Dr. Jim Swanson and Chad Briscoe for the opportunity to return to my alma mater, invest into the lives of the student-athletes and restore the competitiveness of the softball program. This time at Grace was a wonderful time of ministry for my family and a labor of love and near to my heart as a former player. I look forward to the spring season and the goals set by the team. We have a strong roster, and I am excited for the year.”
Stoll was a standout player softball at Grace from 2009-12. She graduated with the second-most hits (128) in program history at the time and was a CoSIDA Academic All-District and NAIA Scholar-Athlete during her career. She currently works at BrandPoet, assisting the marketing efforts of Grace.
“I’ve worked with the Johnsons for many years, and I am equally saddened and excited for this next page in their story,” Stoll said. “I am confident that the program’s success will continue with the same goals, values and Christian purpose. I look forward to assisting with this transition for the softball program and am excited for a great 2016 spring season.