Steve Johnson enters his second season as the head coach of the Utah State softball team, after being named the ninth head coach of the Aggie program on June 26, 2013.
In his first season at Utah State, Johnson led the team to an 18-37 record, the most wins by an Aggie team since 2010. Included in that record was a 6-18 conference finish in Utah State’s first year in the Mountain West.
In his USU debut, Johnson coached Victoria Saucedo to Mountain West Freshman of the Year and first-team all-conference honors, while helping pitcher Noelle Johnson to break the USU single-season strikeout record. Saucedo ended the year batting .371 with seven home runs, 31 runs batted in and 31 runs scored. Johnson finished the year with a 16-22 record a year ago as she had a 3.47 earned run average in 234.1 innings pitched. On the season, Johnson struck out 218 batters to set the single-season school record, while walking 67. He also coached Hailey Froton to set the USU single-season RBI record with 41.
The Aggies ended the 2014 season with a .251 batting average, improving from .237 the previous year. USU hit 32 home runs while advancing to 537 total bases, an improvement from the previous year of eight and 399, respectively.
Along with Saucedo’s all-conference honors, nine USU softball players earned academic all-Mountain West accolades, while four were named Mountain West Scholar Athletes at the conclusion of Johnson’s first season.
Johnson took over the Utah State program after five years at Auburn as the assistant head coach. Working primarily with the Tigers’ hitters, slappers and infielders, Johnson helped Auburn advance to three Southeastern Conference Tournaments and NCAA Regional appearances in four years. In 2011, Auburn was ranked in both the ESPN and NFCA top 25 polls, spending 12 weeks in the NFCA poll and reaching a high of No. 21. Auburn also registered its first-ever series win over a top-five team, taking two-of-three games from No. 4 Georgia. The 2012 Tigers hit the most home runs (46) since the 2005 squad hit a program-record 68.
At Auburn, Johnson coached five players who earned all-SEC honors, and four players who earned SEC all-freshman team accolades, including tying a school record with two in 2013. In 2011, Auburn set program top-five marks in batting average (.279/fifth), runs scored (272/fifth), RBI (235/fifth), doubles (97/second), triples (8/third) and walks (160/second).
Johnson made his head coaching debut at the Division II level, spending the 2003-08 seasons at UNC Pembroke, where he compiled a 153-164 record.
Johnson led the Braves to a 46-14 overall record in 2008 and the Peach Belt Conference Championship, going 17-1 in league action. He also led UNC Pembroke to the program’s first ever NCAA Regional appearance in 2008, earning NFCA South Atlantic Region Coaching Staff of the Year honors in 2008. That season, the Braves set or tied 33 school records including most wins in a season (46) and most conference wins (17). UNCP players earned a total of six all-region awards and three All-America honors under Johnson’s tutelage in 2008.
While at Pembroke, Johnson’s teams broke 73 school records and had 39 players earn Peach Belt Academic Honor Roll accolades.
Prior to his stint at UNC Pembroke, Johnson served as an assistant coach at South Dakota State from 2000-02.
Johnson began his professional coaching career as the head coach at Kennedy High School in Cedar Rapids, Iowa from 1997-2000.
Johnson earned his undergraduate degree in U.S. history and secondary education from Wartburg College, graduating cum laude in 1997. Johnson earned a graduate degree in athletic administration from South Dakota State University in 2002.
A native of West Des Moines, Iowa, Johnson is married to the former Heather Wesemen and the couple has one daughter, Collette.
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