By RU Sports Information Saturday, September 01 2012 00:00
“Michelle is an excellent addition to the program,” said Johnson, who was named head coach on Aug. 14. “She had a major impact on the program's success as a player and her passion for Radford is strong.”
The Radford alum has gained coaching experience at both the high school and collegiate level, most recently as an assistant at Winthrop University in 2011.
Carlson, who spent four years with the Highlanders, donned the red & white uniform from 2005-07 and served as a student assistant while completing her undergraduate work at the University.
Upon returning to the New River Valley, Carlson's on-field duties will consist of working with the outfielders, while assisting in all other aspects of the program.
The Chesapeake, Va. native played an integral part in the initial success of the softball program. During her playing career, the Highlanders recorded 123 wins, enjoyed their first 40-win season (2006) and reached the Big South Championship game for the first time in 2006 and then again in 2007. As a Highlander, Carlson was a two-time Big South All-Academic team member (2006-07), a 2006 NFCA Scholar-Athlete and a 2007 league all-tournament selection.
Stepping into the role as a coach in 2008, Carlson was part of a staff that saw the Highlanders post a school-best 46-15 record, as well as setting new team marks in home runs (57), batting average (.307) and slugging percentage (.468). They also boasted seven all-conference players, the league's Freshman of the Year and earned their first national vote in program history.
Following graduation, Carlson ventured down to Statesboro, Ga. and worked under Johnson as an assistant coach at Georgia Southern. The Eagles finished runner-up in the Southern Conference Tournament and led the league in batting average (.293) and slugging percentage (.435). The Eagles placed six players on the all-conference team and were recognized with both the Conference Pitcher and Freshman of the Year. The program was also ranked in the NFCA Top 25 All-Academic Team with a cumulative team GPA of 3.35.
Prior to her time at Winthrop, the 2010 Southeastern District Coach of the Year skippered Indian River High School (Chesapeake, Va.) where two member of her squad earned honorable mention all-district honors.
“Her coaching experience will be beneficial to our team and I look forward to the season with Michelle on our staff,” commented Johnson.
Carlson, who graduated with a degree in exercise, sport and health education, is currently working towards her masters degree in sports administration from Ohio University.
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