Softball Coaches

Head Coach: Heather Johnson

Heather Johnson (Everhart), one of the most decorated athletes in the history of Grace College, is set to start her fourth season at the helm of the softball program.

Johnson has patiently worked at rebuilding Grace's program. She has led the Lady Lancers to two straight appearances in the Crossroads League Tournament -- something Grace had previously not accomplished in half a decade.

Upon graduation from Grace in 1994, she served under the late Coach Phil Dick as an assistant softball coach on the Lancers staff for one year before taking over as the head softball coaching in the inaugural season at Montreat College in Montreat, N.C. During her first season as a head coach and the first year for the softball program in 1996, Montreat finished fourth in TVAC while knocking off four top 10 NAIA teams during the year. Johnson was named TVAC Coach of the year after going (11-13 Conf; 20-26). 

In 1997 Johnson moved to NCAA Div. II Lenoir-Rhyne in Hickory, NC.  She served on the volleyball staff for one year before getting into administration where she completed her master’s degree in business administration and served as the director of facilities.  In 2001 Johnson returned to coaching at her alma mater, Northwest High School in Canal Fulton, Ohio, as the head softball coach. Johnson directed the softball program at Northwest from 2001 to 2005, taking over a struggling program that went 6-19 during her first year at the helm.  In 2003; they went 12-12 and in 2004 the team finished 17-9 while advancing to the Regional Championship first time in school history.

“It’s very exciting to return to a softball program and an institution that I know so well,” said Johnson.  “I look forward to being a part of the tradition that has already been built at Grace and for to have the privilege of impacting students’ lives for Christ through softball.”

For her athletic efforts, Johnson was elected into the inaugural 2008 class of the Grace College Lancer Hall of Fame for her accomplishments both on and off the softball diamond.  During her athletic career at Grace, Johnson played a pivotal role in the success of the Lancers.  In her senior season (1994), Heather set school records with 238 innings pitched, most wins in a season with 28, most strikeouts in a season with 253, and the lowest E.R.A. for a single season at 0.56 runs a game.

In her senior season, she was named an NAIA All-American and took the Lancers on their first-ever trip to the National Tournament in Columbia, Missouri.  During their Cinderella post-season run, Johnson and Grace picked up four victories, including a win over NAIA #1 ranked and #1 seeded Kennesaw State (44-2) of Georgia.  After her senior season, Heather was honored by USA Softball when she was invited to the Olympic tryouts in June of 1994.

In her four years at Grace, Heather was chosen to every All-Tournament or All-Conference team that the Lancers took part in. Heather reserved her spot in Lancer history by setting career records such as 783 innings pitched and 727 strikeouts. She averaged 6.5 strikeouts, per seven inning game for her career. Her final pitching stats boast a career record of 86 wins, only 29 losses, and an outstanding career ERA of 0.92 runs a game.

The Johnsons are the proud parents of three beautiful children: Grace, Taft, and Mack.

Assistant Coach:
Jay Johnson

Jay Johnson arrived at Grace after residing in Canal Fulton, Ohio.  As a business owner and former pharmaceutical sales rep, Johnson brings a high level of ambition and professionalism to the program.  Johnson will take an aggressive approach toward recruiting which will be a primary focus for returning Lancer Softball back to a championship program. 

Along with recruiting, Coach Johnson will oversee strength and conditioning, outfielders, hitting, and individual skills improvement. 

“I am ecstatic to be at Grace College and coaching with my wife. We have fun coaching together and our strengths complement each other very well.”  

The Johnson's coached together at Northwest High School in Canal Fulton, Ohio, where the couple lived for the past ten years before coming to Grace. Jay's primary responsibilities included instructing hitting, catching, and outfield. 

Jay was also the strength and conditioning coach for Lenoir-Rhyne University's volleyball team and assisted Heather in her second season as head coach of Montreat College's softball team in North Carolina.

While earning his bachelor’s degree in business administration/marketing, Johnson played four years and was a two-time All-Conference standout outfielder for Montreat College. 

The Johnsons are the proud parents of three beautiful children: Grace, Taft, and Mack.

Assistant Coach: Genevieve Benson

Genevieve Benson joins the Lady Lancers’ coaching ranks fresh off a standout career in a Grace softball uniform.

Benson graduated from Grace College in 2012 after playing her final three years under Coach Johnson.

During her time in a Lady Lancer uniform, Benson amassed the second-most hits in program history (128) and proved to be a steady infield defender throughout her career.

As a senior, Benson became Grace’s first CoSIDA All-District winner as a result of her athletic and academic accomplishments. Benson was also a two-time NAIA Scholar-Athlete.

Benson currently works at BrandPoet, helping the marketing efforts of Grace College.

Assistant Coach: Bri Flanagan

Bri Flanagan is set to begin her first season assisting Grace College's softball program.

Flanagn was a four-year player for the Lady Lancers until her graduation in 2010.

She increased her production nearly every season in Grace's program, culminating with 28 hits and a team-best three home runs as a senior in 2010.

Outside of the athletic realm, Flanagan was also a two-time NAIA Scholar-Athlete.