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Johnson Named to Head FMU Softball Program

    FLORENCE, S.C. - Francis Marion University athletic officials announced on Monday the hiring of Stacey Johnson of Tampa, Fla., as the school’s new head coach for women’s softball.

    Johnson, 27, replaces Jack Byerley who resigned last month to take a position at a NCAA Division I university.  In two seasons, Byerley guided Francis Marion to a 73-26 mark and a pair of fourth-place regular-season finishes in the highly competitive Peach Belt Conference. 

    Johnson comes to Francis Marion from Saint Leo University, a member of the NCAA Division II Sunshine State Conference, where she spent four seasons as an assistant coach.  The Lions posted a 135-88 mark during those four years, including a national tournament bid in 2002.  She also served as the university’s assistant trainer and taught as an instructor during the 2003-04 year, and worked as an assistant strength and conditioning coach for two seasons.

    FMU athletic director Murray Hartzler said, “We are very excited about Stacey joining the Patriot athletic staff.  She is very familiar with Division II softball, and we feel she is the right person to lead our program to the next level – both in the Peach Belt and at the NCAA national level.  We also feel as though she has much to offer the entire athletic program, and hope she will remain a Patriot for many years to come.”

    A native of St. Louis, Mo., Johnson was as an assistant coach at Florissant Valley Community College during the fall of 2000, after having served as player/head coach of the Pulheim (Germany) Gophers during the spring and summer of 2000.

    A 1999 graduate of Barry University with a B.S. degree in sports medicine and athletic training, she was a four-year starter at third base.  She helped lead the Buccaneers to the NCAA Division II national tournament each of her four years, including a second-place finish in 1998.  She ended her career third on the school’s games played list.

    “I am very excited about this opportunity,” said Johnson.  “It is not often that a person gets their first head coaching position in such an ideal situation.  Coach Byerley laid a great foundation for the next coach to build upon, and I want to continue the Patriots’ march up the ranks of Division II softball.

    “I feel that my experience at the Division II level, both as a player and an assistant coach, will aid me in this new position.  We have a young returning squad, but one that has already tasted some success.  I know what it is like to expect to challenge for NCAA post-season play every year, and I hope to instill that attitude and feeling here at FMU.” 

    Johnson is a member of the National Fastpitch Coaches Association, the National Strength and Conditioning Association, the National Council on Strength and Fitness, and the National Athletic Trainers Association.  She is a certified strength and conditioning specialist, a certified personal trainer, and a certified athletic trainer.

    This past season, FMU was 37-17 and narrowly missed earning its first-ever bid to the NCAA Division II national tournament by winning 16 of its final 19 games.  The team’s 37 wins were the third-most in the program’s history, and FMU compiled a program-best 12 conference wins.

    Johnson is the ninth head coach in the 25-year history of the FMU softball program.  The program boasts an all-time mark of 687-448-3 (.605 winning percentage), including five national tournament appearances in the 1980s.

Francis Marion University
Women’s Softball Program

Year     Record     Head Coach

1980   # 21-4     Shelia Moorman
1981   # 22-7     Shelia Moorman
1982     19-8      Shelia Moorman
1983     21-7      Ann Barton
1984     28-23     Ann Barton
1985     28-14     Ann Barton
1986     * 40-11   Ann Barton
1987     * 42-4     Ann Barton
1988     * 33-8     Ann Barton
1989     27-12      Ann Barton
1990     12-27      Renae Kirkhart
1991     18-32-1    Renae Kirkhart
1992     13-32-2    Renae Kirkhart
1993     28-22       Carrie Byrd
1994     11-28       Debbie Fore
1995     29-24       Debbie Fore
1996     27-23       Rendy Yates
1997     36-19       Bill Gray
1998     30-26       Bill Gray
199    9 25-27     Bill Gray
2000     35-23     Bill Gray
2001     34-21     Bill Gray
2002     35-20     Bill Gray
2003     36-9       Jack Byerley
2004     37-17     Jack Byerley
# advanced to AIAW Division II World Series
* advanced to NAIA World Series



Last Published: August 27, 2004 10:14 AM
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