Heather Johnston became a part of the LSU swimming and diving coaching staff late in the summer of 2000, and already her skill and expertise has helped revitalize both the mens and womens swimming teams. Her energy and competitive spirit has brought about a sense of both determination and learning to the Tiger practice sessions.
Johnston comes to LSU with years of both coaching and competition experience on the collegiate level. Most recently, she was the assistant coach at the University of California at Berkeley for the 1999-2000 season. While at Cal-Berkeley, she assisted head coach Teri McKeever and associate head coach Mike Walker with on deck coaching duties, weight-lifting sessions, recruiting, and administrative duties.
During the 1998-99 season, Johnston was the assistant coach at Arizona State University, where she acted as the liaison between the coaching staff and the womens swimming team in transition, organized all aspects of the teams travel arrangements, and managed the academics of the freshman class. She was also nominated to represent the swimming and diving program in all athletic department functions as well as team events held outside of the practice sessions.
Prior to her valuable work at Arizona State, Johnston spent time as a vital assistant coach at Oregon State University and the University of Wisconsin at Stevens Point. She received her Masters Degree in Athletic Administration at Wisconsin at Stevens Point in 1994 after graduating from Whittier College in 1991.
There is certainly no doubt that Johnston has had her share of experience in collegiate athletics. While earning her B.A. in Political Science at Whittier College, she competed on the varsity level in five different sports. Johnston was a four-year letterman in Swimming, Water Polo, Soccer, Lacrosse, and Track.
In 1994, Johnston began her coaching career at both Blake and Minnehaha Academy High Schools in Minneapolis, Minn., as an assistant coach. There she established rapport with the swimmers and brought them to their highest level of performance in the schools recent history.
With the experience that she gained at Blake and Minnehaha, Johnston was offered and accepted the head coaching job at San Ramon Valley High School in Danville, Calif., where she was in charge of both the mens and womens swimming programs.
Johnston also has coaching experience with the World Sprint Team 2000 under Mike Bottom, the Golden Bears Swim Camp under Mike Bottom, and the Barracudas Aquatic Club.
She will be instrumental to the LSU swimming and diving programs in helping coach Cavana continue to recruit top-caliber athletes, as well as by devoting many hours to on-deck coaching and administrative activities.