Johnson named MSU softball assistant coach

Samantha Ricketts announced the addition of Josh Johnson, the former associate head coach at Ball State, as Mississippi State softball’s newest assistant coach.

Posted: Aug 27, 2019 3:36 PM

STARKVILLE, Miss. (WTVA/MSU Athletics) – Samantha Ricketts announced the addition of Josh Johnson, the former associate head coach at Ball State, as Mississippi State softball’s newest assistant coach.

Johnson joins Tyler Bratton, who is returning for his seventh season as an assistant coach with the program, to round out Ricketts’ full-time staff.

“I am excited to add a coach of Josh’s caliber to our coaching staff,” Ricketts said. “His experience not only as a coach but also as a player on the men’s fastpitch circuit will provide tremendous knowledge to our program. He is data driven and will help us advance our player development through new technology and research. We are looking forward to welcoming Josh, his wife Jenny, and son Jake to StarkVegas.”

Johnson spent the last five seasons as part of the Ball State’s coaching staff as a pitching coach and was elevated to associate head coach prior to the 2019 campaign. Over his five seasons with the program, the Cardinals complied a 157-119 record and a 56-49 mark in Mid-American Conference play. guided Ball State to the 2018 MAC Western Division Crown.

His pitching staff has registered 300-or-more strikeouts in each of the last three seasons, with all three totals ranking among the top five single season marks in program history. His staff’s ERA has also been below 3.00 in each of the last three years.

In 2019, Johnson took a relatively young staff and developed it into one of the nation’s best. With a starting rotation which featured two freshmen, a redshirt sophomore and a senior, the Cardinals finished the year ranked second in the MAC and 69th nationally with a 2.82 ERA. The team’s 313 total strikeouts were also 55th among all NCAA Division I programs. Combined, Ball State’s pitchers threw 10 shutouts in 2019 with each of the team’s five pitchers having a hand in at least two.

Johnson helped junior Alyssa Rothwell develop into a shutdown closer over the 2019 campaign as she set a new Ball State and MAC single-season record of 14 saves. The total led the nation, tied as the third-best single season mark in NCAA history and raised her career total to 28 which is four shy of the current NCAA record.

The Cardinals finished the 2018 season with a league-low 2.48 ERA, despite being plagued by injuries. Ball State's three pitchers helped guide the program to 37 wins, the fourth-highest single season total in program history, and the MAC West Division championship.

Junior starter Aeshia Miles, who had just 53.1 collegiate innings under her belt prior to the 2018 season, took over as the team's ace and became just the sixth player in program history to reach 20 wins in a season en route to All-MAC honors. Overall, Ball State's 2.48 ERA in 2018 was the program's best mark since the 2010 season, as was the staff's 328 total strikeouts.

The 2017 season saw Ball State’s pitchers finish the year with a combined 2.99 ERA, the program’s best mark since the 2013 squad finished the year with a 2.74 ERA. In addition, Ball State's pitchers chalked up 307 strikeouts in 2017 to rank third in the conference. In his first season on staff in 2016, Johnson helped senior pitcher Nicole Steinbach earn four MAC West Division Pitcher of the Week awards and end her career as a two-time NFCA All-Great Lakes Region Third Team honoree.

Prior to joining the staff at Ball State, Johnson served as the primary pitching coach at the University of Texas at El Paso in 2014. Before his one season at UTEP, Johnson served as the top assistant and pitching coach at the University of Louisiana-Lafayette for the 2013 season, which saw the Ragin' Cajuns advance to the NCAA Ann Arbor Super Regional after winning the NCAA Baton Rouge Regional. Under his guidance, the Ragin’ Cajuns pitching staff increased its strikeout total by 122 from the previous season, with Jordan Wallace ranking third nationally with 382 strikeouts.

Before arriving at Louisiana-Lafayette, Johnson spent three seasons as the head coach at Faulkner State Community College (2010-12) where his 119-60 career record makes him the winningest coach in program history. His Sun Chiefs players would earn 14 National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) All-America honors, while breaking every team and individual batting, base running and pitching record in program history. His teams posted the two highest finishes in program history, including the school’s first state championship appearance.

Johnson, who started his fastpitch softball career in 1995, has been playing at the Major level of the North American Fastpitch Association (NAFA) since 2004 as both a pitcher and an outfielder. A 16-time NAFA All-World Team selection, Johnson was inducted into the NAFA Hall of Fame in 2013 and was the association’s Most Valuable Player in 2014. He has also competed in numerous tournaments for the US Men’s National Fastpitch Softball Team, most recently playing in the 2015 Pan American Games held in Toronto, Ontario (July 12-18).

As a student-athlete, Johnson was a four-year letterwinner and 1998 First Team All-Conference selection in baseball at the University of Wisconsin-Stout, where he earned his bachelor’s in psychology in 2000 and his master’s in Applied Psychology in 2003. Johnson also earned letters in cross country and track & field at Wisconsin-Stout, finishing his athletics career as the only 14-time varsity letterwinner in school history. He continues to hold the Blue Devils’ program record in the indoor 1,000m run, at 2:31.92.

A native of Oregon, Wisconsin, Johnson earned his Ph.D. in sports psychology from Florida State University in 2008. Joining him in Starkville is his wife Jenny and son Jake.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 312712

Reported Deaths: 7223
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto21445257
Hinds20264414
Harrison17785308
Rankin13548278
Jackson13401246
Madison10055217
Lee9959173
Jones8361163
Forrest7638152
Lauderdale7191240
Lowndes6361144
Lamar620686
Lafayette6164118
Washington5318133
Bolivar4796132
Oktibbeha460698
Panola4550105
Pearl River4493145
Marshall4393103
Warren4371121
Pontotoc419372
Monroe4089133
Union408876
Neshoba4022176
Lincoln3944110
Hancock376886
Leflore3487125
Sunflower335590
Tate332084
Pike3290105
Scott314973
Alcorn311268
Yazoo310269
Itawamba299277
Copiah296065
Coahoma293979
Simpson293888
Tippah287468
Prentiss278960
Marion268780
Leake265573
Wayne262241
Adams261882
Grenada260085
Covington256281
George246748
Newton246161
Winston226881
Tishomingo225467
Jasper220748
Attala214173
Chickasaw206957
Holmes188672
Clay184654
Stone181833
Clarke177879
Tallahatchie177840
Calhoun169732
Yalobusha162936
Smith162134
Walthall133845
Greene130333
Lawrence128323
Montgomery126742
Noxubee126734
Perry125838
Amite122842
Carroll121728
Webster114532
Jefferson Davis106932
Tunica104626
Claiborne102230
Benton99025
Humphreys96133
Kemper95328
Franklin83423
Quitman79916
Choctaw76018
Wilkinson66830
Jefferson65428
Sharkey50217
Issaquena1686
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 529446

Reported Deaths: 10930
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson763031516
Mobile40850804
Madison34622501
Tuscaloosa25701451
Montgomery24289585
Shelby23367247
Baldwin21035307
Lee15822169
Calhoun14469313
Morgan14266279
Etowah13806352
Marshall12185222
Houston10533280
Elmore10029205
Limestone9948150
Cullman9640193
St. Clair9589239
Lauderdale9407239
DeKalb8814185
Talladega8199175
Walker7214277
Autauga6914108
Jackson6801111
Blount6635136
Colbert6288134
Coffee5498117
Dale4820111
Russell438438
Chilton4258111
Franklin424782
Covington4111117
Tallapoosa4004150
Escambia393076
Chambers3555123
Dallas3543151
Clarke350661
Marion3105100
Pike310177
Lawrence299798
Winston273672
Bibb260463
Marengo249064
Geneva247676
Pickens233659
Barbour230756
Hale222276
Butler215869
Fayette212062
Henry188744
Cherokee184145
Randolph179241
Monroe177040
Washington167039
Macon158850
Clay155156
Crenshaw151957
Cleburne148341
Lamar141534
Lowndes138553
Wilcox126729
Bullock122941
Conecuh110129
Perry107526
Coosa106928
Sumter104332
Greene92334
Choctaw60424
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