Softball SA is very excited to announce the State Team Head Coaches for 2018. The Board ratified the recommendations of the State Team Committee for the following appointments:
Kere Johanson – Starz (Open Women) for his 3rd year in the position. Based in Melbourne, Kere (also known as KJ) commutes to Adelaide a handful of times a season to coach the team face to face while managing the role from home between visits. KJ is a legend of the game in his home country of New Zealand where he was twice a World Champion as a player and Hall of Famer. He moved to Australia in the early 2000’s and began coaching including an Olympic Silver medal as an Assistant Coach of the Australian Womens team in 2004 and two World Championship Bronze medals as Head Coach in 2012 and 2014. On his re-appointment as the Starz Head Coach, KJ said “I am pleased to be re-appointed as Head Coach for the Starz and entrusted by Softball SA to lead the Open Womens program. I look forward to this seasons challenges ahead.”
The Starz will battle against the best in Australia for the Gilley’s Shield January 6 -12 2018 at Perth, WA. It will be a homecoming of sorts as he was a ‘back to back’ National Championship Head Coach for the WA Flames in 2009 and 2010
Janell Behrendt – U19 Womens for her 2nd year in the position. Behrendt had been working off-field as an Australian Selector for a few years before getting back in the Coach’s Box last year. A National Champion Assistant Coach in 2006 and a former Australian U19 Womens Assistant Coach, Behrendt brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the team. Falling agonisingly short in January this year, losing the final to NSW, Behrendt will be keen to go one better in 2018 but it will have to be in front of the NSW home crowd as the Championship will be played at the 2000 Olympic venue at Blacktown. This might be within reach with a plethora of talent to work with made up of returning players and no less than six U17 Australian Squad members to come in to the team.
Geoff May – U19 Mens. May, a former U17 Girls Head and Assistant Coach is no stranger to the Boys competition, in fact he coached the same group in the U15s a few years ago. May is also a former elite cricketer and found a love for softball when both his kids started playing as youngsters, he also tried his hand at playing with reasonable results. May will take back the reigns of this team that made the final four in the U17 Championships earlier this year to see out what he started a number of years ago, May said “I am very excited for the next couple of years to help this team achieve their softball goals”. The boys program has been starved of success as SA have never won a National title and the best finish in this age group was 3rd back in 1995 and 1996. They will be trying to change this at Blacktown in NSW, January 22nd-28th next year.
Steven Sims – U17 Girls, this has been an appointment 20 years in the making. Steven, affectionately known as ‘Butch’, has had plenty of experience for South Australia at National Championships but never as a Girls Head Coach. Butch was Head Coach of the most successful SA U19 Mens teams back in 1995 and ’96 but it was always the Womens program that he desired to coach. After a number of unsuccessful attempts, he came back to the Mens program and was Head Coach in 2009 and Asst Coach in 2016. He finally got his opportunity to be an Assistant Coach for the U19 Womens team (January) this year where the team placed runners-up. Butch said of the 20 years waiting for this moment “I am looking forward to coaching the U17 SA team, it has been a long journey to fulfil this aspiration and I am planning on it paying dividends”. Redlands in Queensland will play host to the U17 Girls National Championship January 6 -12.
Morgan Young – U15 Girls. This will be his 2nd year with the team but his first Head Coach appointment. Assistant for the team in January this year as well as the last two years as the Starz Assistant Coach under Kere Johanson, Young felt it was time to take on his own team. “I’m honoured and excited to be able to continue the fantastic work that Jordan Lambert started with this group last year”. A former Australian U19 Mens and SA Mens representative, Young had a 15 year hiatus from the sport before making a return to the diamond a few years ago. Playing success has come recently with the Nairne Angels Masters team with a National title in 2015 and a World silver medal last month but his focus on the future success of SA Softball is his future in this sport and motivation to take on this team. The U15 Championship is January 6 -12 2018 at Perth, WA.
Softball SA would like to congratulate all of our Head Coaches and wish them all the very best with their preparations for the 2018 National Championships.
All other officials positions are still open, we are seeking applications for – Assistant Coaches, Team Managers, Statisticians and Sports Trainer/Physio positions for all State Teams.
If you would like to apply for an official position please apply via the State Team Officials Online Application
Applications are due by Sunday 11th June