Both Heberling and Koons are former players of Johnson's, playing at the University of North Carolina at Pembroke and Utah State, respectively.
"I am really excited to have Laura and Jo join our program here at Utah State and help us win the Mountain West," Johnson said. "This is a unique and fun situation for me as a head coach to be able to coach with two of my former players."
In her role, Heberling will oversee the Aggie pitchers and catchers. She comes to Utah State from the University of South Carolina Beaufort, where she spent five seasons as the head coach. Prior to that, she was an assistant coach for the Sand Sharks for three seasons. In her time as head coach, Heberling posted a record of 177-92. She was named the Sun Conference Coach of the Year in 2015 and led the team to Sun Conference Tournament championships in 2013 and 2015. In her time at USCB, she coached multiple players to NAIA All-American honors, while 30 earned all-Sun Conference accolades.
"I would like to thank Coach Johnson, Jana Doggett and Steph Ingalls for the opportunity to be an assistant softball coach at USU," Heberling said. "My family and I are excited to move to Logan. I am ready to grow professionally and work towards the vision that Coach Johnson has for Utah State Softball. Go Aggies!"
Heberling also had coaching stops as an assistant coach at Iowa Wesleyan and a graduate assistant at Williams Woods. As a player, she started her career at Young Harris College, followed by one year at Virginia Intermont College before playing her final season under Johnson at UNC Pembroke. Heberling holds a bachelor's degree in exercise and sport science from UNC Pembroke and a master's in athletics/activities administration from William Woods. She and her husband, Ed, have a son, Hollis.
Koons returns to her alma mater to oversee the Aggie outfield. She spent the 2018 season as the head coach at Lassen College. While there, she helped the Cougars to a 19-18 record, while the team lead the Golden Valley Conference in stolen bases and triples. Koons made her full-time coaching debut at Colorado Christian for the 2017 season, where she worked with the outfield and the slappers. In 2016, Koons was a volunteer assistant coach at Stanford, where she worked with the outfielders and hitters, while serving as the travel coordinator and camp director.
"I am extremely grateful and thankful to have the opportunity come back and coach at my alma mater. I want to thank Coach Johnson for this opportunity, and I truly consider it a great honor as most people don’t get to work for the coach they played under," Koons said. "I cannot wait to give back to the program that gave me so much. I am looking forward to being back on campus, and working with our student-athletes as well as the rest of the Utah State faculty and staff."
Koons was a versatile player for the Aggies, as she made at least one start in every position on the field, but played primarily at shortstop her junior and senior seasons. She still ranks on the USU career triples list, while holding a spot on three single-season record lists. She graduated from Utah State in 2015, with a degree in interdisciplinary studies and holds a master's degree in organizational leadership from Colorado Christian.
"Both Jo and Laura started coaching right out of college and have had a lot of different experiences that are going to benefit us here at Utah State. Their dedication to the game and their incredible work ethic have helped them along the way and will make the transition here at Utah State seamless. In addition, they both have great personalities and a positive energy that the girls are really going to enjoy," Johnson said. "They're both very familiar with how we do things in our program and they were both a big part of our rebuilding projects at UNC Pembroke and here at Utah State. Their understanding of what it takes to build a winner will be key for us this year as we look to rebuild to where we were in 2017."
Fans can follow the Aggie softball program on Twitter, @USUSoftball, on Facebook at /USUSoftball or on Instagram, @ususoftball. Aggie fans can also follow the Utah State athletic program on Twitter, @USUAthletics, Facebook at /USUAthletics and on Instagram, @USUAthletics.
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