Johnson Named Women’s Tennis Head Coach

Submitted by: Ron Smith - June 28th, 2016

 

Ellie Johnson

Ellie Johnson

Westmont Athletic Director Dave Odell has announced the hiring of Ellie Johnson as the head coach of Westmont Women’s Tennis. Johnson takes over a program that has made 27 trips to the NAIA National Championships – winning the national title in 1982. The Warriors have also won 11 Golden State Athletic Conference Championships.

“We had a deep and diverse applicant pool,” said Odell, “but the committee feels strongly that Ellie is the right choice for the long term future of the women’s tennis program. Ellie’s experience as a GSAC player and as a coach in our region give her an understanding of the local tennis environment. She is well prepared with an MA in sports administration and a certificate in strength and conditioning. More importantly, she is committed to who we are from a missional point of view – both spiritually and academically.”

A graduate of Concordia (Calif.), Johnson was a four-year starter for the Eagles. In her senior year, the team won the GSAC Championship with Johnson playing at number two singles and number one doubles. Johnson, who was nationally ranked in doubles at number 13, served as team captain during her junior and senior seasons. Johnson graduated with a bachelor’s degree in exercise sports science.

Since graduation, Johnson has pursued a master’s in coaching and athletic administration, which she expects to complete this summer. At the same time, she has served as the assistant women’s tennis coach at Concordia. She has also served as a tennis teaching pro at the Woodbridge Tennis Academy.

“I am beyond excited to learn I have been selected as the new Westmont Women’s Tennis head coach,” expressed Johnson. “I am extremely thankful for the opportunity to work in such a beautiful community – not just the physical surroundings but with the people at Westmont. During the hiring process, I am so blessed that Dave, the committee members and all those involved in the process believe in my coaching ability and vision for the program. I cannot think of a better place to continue my coaching career. I know there is work to be done and I am excited to get started.”

Asked about her coaching style, Johnson responded, “I would describe myself as a positive motivator with an awareness of my players as individuals and team members. I hold my players to high standards with the purpose of guiding them to be the best students, athletes, and community members they can be. I believe confidence comes through preparation, practice and a desire to continually learn and grow.

“I hope to build on the solid foundation on which Westmont Tennis has been established,” continued Johnson. “I respect Kendyll McManigal as a coach and I value what she has done with the program at Westmont. I plan to continue her rigorous and highly regarded program while putting my own stamp on the program. I hope to bring positive energy to the women’s tennis team with a focus on development. I seek to play a part in developing the player’s faith and spirituality and I plan to emphasize the importance of academic excellence.

“In order to develop the physical and mental fitness of the team I plan to implement a year-round strength and conditioning program. This plan will help the team be stronger individually and as a group for the 2017 season. It would bring me great joy to see the women’s tennis team repeat as the conference tournament champion again this coming year.”

Johnson takes over the program from McManigal who will have her third child in the coming months. McManigal led the Warriors to the NAIA National Tournament in all three of her years as head coach while posting a record of 36-31. Under her guidance, the Warriors won the 2016 GSAC Championship and McManigal was named the 2016 GSAC Women’s Tennis Coach of the Year.