May 23, 2007
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. -
University of Virginia Athletics Director Craig Littlepage today announced the resignation of head softball coach Karen Johns. Johns, who spent two seasons as the Cavaliers' mentor, will focus her attention on an expanded role while in her third year as an assistant coach with the USA Softball Women's National Team.
"Karen Johns has been a valued and respected colleague during the two years she served as our head softball coach," said Littlepage. "She brought a work ethic that was much needed to the program. Karen has a once in a lifetime opportunity which means she will step away from college coaching. We recognize the hard work she and her staff provided. The work she did here will be fully appreciated in a few years once the talented young players on the team get more game experience and the outstanding recruits she has signed to the incoming class join the University."
"This was a very tough decision for me," said Johns. "I love the athletes that I coached this year and I love the athletes that I recruited. I also have a deep appreciation for my assistant coaches, Iyhia McMichael, Brandon Duncan, Erin Horn and Carie Dever-Boaz. Their hard work has set the foundation for Virginia softball."
Johns was hired at UVa in June of 2005 and compiled a 46-65 overall record and an 8-33 mark in Atlantic Coast Conference play in two seasons. The Cavaliers finished the 2007 season with a 17-39 record. In seven seasons as a head coach, Johns compiled a 238-196 record. While the head coach at the University of Florida, Johns' teams made four NCAA Regional appearances.
Johns, a former national team player, is serving as an assistant coach with the USA Softball Women's National Team this summer, the third consecutive year she has worked with the team. Johns will spend nearly two weeks each month focusing on the National Team in preparation for the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China. Johns will work with the team during training camps and travel with the team to competitions in Canada and Brazil during the summer and to China and Japan in the fall. In 2006, she helped the National Team win its first World Cup of Softball and its sixth consecutive World Championship. Johns also served as an assistant coach with the USA Softball Women's National Team in 2005 at the World Cup of Softball and with the USA Elite Team at the Canada Cup.
"I will always be thankful for the opportunity that the University of Virginia gave to me and my family," said Johns. "I am excited to continue my work with USA Softball this summer as we prepare for the 2008 Olympics in Beijing."