Troy legend Leanna Johnson named assistant coach

Published 8:49 am Thursday, July 13, 2023

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Leanna Johnson is coming off one of the most impressive softball careers of any pitcher in Troy history and she isn’t going anywhere as Troy University announced her hiring as a new assistant softball coach on Wednesday.

Johnson finished her Troy career as the winningest pitcher in school history, with an astounding 101-41 record as a starter in the circle. She also held a 1.98 ERA with 1,058 strikeouts during her time with the Trojans. She is just the second Troy pitcher in school history to strikeout more than 1,000 batters, and one of just 98 players in the history of Division I to accomplish that feat.

“This is a big-time hire for Troy Softball,” Troy Coach Eric Newell said. “Leanna had an incredible career at Troy, and we are thrilled to add her to our coaching staff. We are grateful to our administration for giving us the green light to move forward with the hire.

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“Leanna loves Troy from top to bottom and is a perfect addition to our staff. She has a tremendous passion for the game, and I truly believe that her charismatic personality will help us cultivate, develop and mentor several of our younger players.”

The Brantley native was also a standout in high school, earning Class 1A Player of the Year on three separate occasions, along with being named the ASWA Player of the Year, Miss Softball and Gatorade Alabama Player of the Year in 2018. She helped lead Brantley to four state titles and was part of a team at Troy that made it to NCAA Regionals for the first time in nearly three decades.

At Troy, Johnson pitched 35 shutouts over her career and earned All-Sun Belt honors all four years along with earning Sun Belt Freshman of the Year in 2019 and being named All-Region three times.

After her graduation, Johnson told The Messenger that she intended to remain in the game as a coach and hoped to one day do so at Troy.

“Hopefully something will work out where I’ll stay around Troy for awhile,” Johnson said at the time. “I really want to stay around the game. I would love to be a pitching coach somewhere.”

Now, that goal is another that Johnson can check off as she will serve as an assistant coach at Troy. Johnson joins a staff that includes Newell and fellow assistant coaches Camden Decker and Anna Shelnutt. Like Johnson, Shelnutt was a star player in college, earning All-ACC honors at Florida State.

“I’m excited to be able to stay at a place that I love so much and is home,” Johnson said. “I am so thankful to Coach Newell, Coach Decker and Coach Shelnutt for this opportunity to began my coaching career at Troy.

“Troy Athletics and the Troy community have supported and embraced me tremendously during my playing career, and there is nowhere else I’d rather start my professional journey than at Troy.”