A new face will lead the Glenbrook Lady Apaches when the MAIS softball season gets underway.
Tuesday, Glenbrook Athletic Director Jeff Dalton hired former Cushing High School (Texas) and Airline head coach Roo Johnson to take over a program on the rise.
“She’s going to be a great coach for us,” Dalton said over the phone Tuesday.
“She’s been successful as a player and coach and we’re excited about what she can do here.”
Johnson played collegiate softball, first at Otero Junior College and then the University of Texas-Tyler. After setting home run records at both schools and earning All-American honors, She went on to play professional softball and also starred on a Swiss National Team where her team finished at runner-up for the European Cup.
Johnson went 22-8 in her final season at Cushing, advancing to third round of the Class 1A playoffs, something the school had never done.
Johnson spoke to the Press-Herald Tuesday about the decision to lead the Lady Apaches.
“It’s a huge blessing,” Johnson said. “To be able to coach here in Minden and have the opportunity to be here at Glenbrook. I see the potential and growth we can have here within the softball program. I can’t explain to you how much of a blessing it is.”
Johnson, who lives in Minden, said she has already worked with several of the Lady Apaches through her work as a private instructor and coach of the Smash travel softball team.
“I’ve already met many of the girls and their families,” Johnson said. “It’s just a really good fit.”
Dalton and Glenbrook headmaster Darden Gladney both came away impressed following the interview process. Those feelings were reciprocated by Johnson.
“I really felt like I gelled with them,” Johnson said. “They felt like such a supportive group. I like smaller schools because of the close-knit environment of the school. I feel like I can thrive in an environment where everyone works together like they do here at Glenbrook.”
Johnson hopes to benefit from the relationships she has already established with some of the players. Hitting the ground running is important, as the MAIS softball season is five weeks away.
“It’s going to be a huge benefit,” Johnson said. “When you’re jumping into a season the way we are you need that. A lot of the girls already do the things I like to see done. The girls I haven’t worked with will fall in suit with the girls I have worked with.”
The Lady Apaches have a talented young roster and are coming off one of their best seasons in a decade.
With that said, Johnson is pumping the brakes on heaping state championship pressure on her young squad.
“I think the goal in year one is just to get in as much as we can,” Johnson said. “It might be a building year. I think we have talent for sure, but it might take a year for everyone to get used to each other. We’ll be successful, but moving forwards we’re only going to keep getting better and better. I’m looking forward to not just this season, but a career at Glenbrook.”