SPARTANURG, S.C. – Converse College Director of Athletics Jennifer Bell announced the resignation of Head Acrobatics and Tumbling Coach Keegan Johnson on Thursday, along with plans to search for the next leader of the Valkyries' promising new program.
"While we are extremely disappointed Keegan is leaving, we are fully supportive and proud of her for pursuing her goals. Keegan did a phenomenal job as our inaugural Acrobatics and Tumbling Coach. When she was hired, she faced the challenge of starting a brand new program of an up-and-coming sport, and I would have to say that she surpassed all expectations," said Bell. "To say that we are proud of what Keegan and the student-athletes have done in such a short period of time would be an understatement. As for the future, our hope is to find a leader who can build on our success and take us to the next level."
After two successful competition years as Head Acrobatics and Tumbling Coach, Johnson will now focus on pursuing higher education, taking the role of Graduate Assistant at the University of Missouri, inside the Athletic Academic Department. During her first year of the program, she will be working alongside the Academic Coordinator for the football team's offensive lineman, as well as the men's golf team. Johnson will be working to obtain a Master's in Educational School and Counseling Psychology.
Johnson joined the Valkyries in 2016 as the program's first head coach and ends a remarkable two years with the team's best finish at No. 6, nationally. She led the Purple and Gold to a combined record of 9-4 during her time at the helm of the program, including a history-making win over King University in the program's first meet on February 11, 2018. The Valkyries completed the 2019 season with an overall 5-1 record, besting the previous year's four victories.
During her time at Converse, Johnson helped produce two All-American student-athletes, Breana Clarke and Tyaeme Haugabook-Lugo. Under Johnson's leadership, Clarke was also named the 2018 NCATA Freshman of the Year, while Haugabook-Lugo earned the team's first-ever individual National Champion in the open tumbling portion of the 2019 NCATA National Championships.
"I am extremely grateful for my time at Converse College," said Johnson. "Building this program and working with such talented athletes has been an extreme honor. Although leaving is very hard, I have no doubt these athletes will continue to excel and reach new heights. I love this program and wish the team nothing but continued success," she concluded.
About Converse College
Converse College was founded in 1889 by citizens of Spartanburg, S.C. who aimed to create an educational experience that enables women "to see clearly, decide wisely, and act justly." Today, Converse is a visionary doctoral university pushing beyond traditional boundaries to make a quality educational experience available to every student who seeks it – both at the undergraduate level for women and at the post-graduate level for male and female students. Converse College's mission is to help students develop their unique voice, a sense of value, and a vision for the future. For more information, visit www.converse.edu.