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Georgia Southern hires new softball coach
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Maggie Johnson has been hired as Georgia Southern University’s new head softball coach.

Johnson becomes the fourth head coach in the program’s fast-pitch history. She replaces all-time wins leader Natalie Poole, who moved to her alma mater, McNeese State, in June.

“We are excited that Maggie accepted our offer to become head coach,” said GSU athletics director Sam Baker. “We liked the experience she gained under very successful Division I head coaches in her time at Radford. For her youth she brings a great deal of experience to the program. We feel like she is inheriting a solid softball program and we feel that she can continue on that path of success.”

GSU went 37-30 last season, losing in the Southern Conference tournament championship to the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga. Megen Smith, an Effingham County High grad and a freshman pitcher last season, went 13-9 with a 2.49 earned run average. Marie Fogle, also an ECHS grad, has signed to play at Georgia Southern.

Johnson spent five successful seasons at Radford University where she oversaw the development of the Highlanders’ hitters, coordinated travel, served as director of the Mickey Dean Softball Camps and supervised recruiting. The Highlanders went 200-121 in her five seasons as an assistant coach.

“I am honored and excited to be given the opportunity to lead Georgia Southern’s softball program,” said Johnson. “I am fortunate to assume responsibility for a team that has already established itself as a contender in the Southern Conference.

“While at Georgia Southern, I will strive to build our reputation on a national level by competing with teams that are nationally ranked in our region, as well as teams from stronger conferences throughout the country. With a very talented core of student-athletes returning and extensive facilities improvements, I believe we have the recruiting tools and support to establish ourselves as a highly competitive softball program.”

Radford hitters thrived under Johnson’s guidance. As a group they set a new home run record four consecutive seasons, including 57 in 2008. Last season they broke the batting average (.307) and slugging percentage (.486) marks for the second straight year and posting a new on base percentage (.361) record that has held up for 12 years.

Johnson was a four-year starter at first base for UNC Wilmington from 1997-2001. While at UNCW, she hit .325 as a senior and was named All-Southern Conference Second Team. She was also tabbed to the All-Tournament team as a junior.

As a senior for the Seahawks, she set the school’s career record for home runs. She currently ranks as the all-time leader in putouts and third in RBI.

Johnson entered the coaching profession in 2002 as an assistant coach at Pender High School in Burgaw, N.C. While at Pender, she was the batting coach and worked with the infielders, helping the team to the state 3-A playoffs for the first time in school history.

After her stint at Pender, Johnson returned to school, earning her Master’s of Education in counseling from Boston University in May of 2003.

She graduated from UNCW in 2001 with Bachelor of Arts in psychology.