Joni has recently been hired as the Head Softball Coach at the University of British Columbia Okanagan. Joni, originally from Kelowna B.C. was inducted into the Georgia College and State University Athletics Hall of Fame in 2018. She is a Chartered Professional Coach and NCCP Competition Development coach through the Coaching Association of Canada.
Joni serves as an NCCP Master Learning Facilitator and Coach Evaluator for Softball B.C. as well as a Multi-Sport Facilitator in Mentorship, Managing Conflict, Empower+ and Teaching & Learning modules.
In 2005 she earned her undergraduate degree from the Department of Health Sciences at GCSU and teacher certification for the state of Georgia. At GCSU she helped lead her team to a runner up finish at the NCAA Division II World Series.
Joni broke a number of offensive records at GCSU including home runs, walks, RBI’s and runs scored. She was also recognized to the NCAA National Tournament team and Peach Belt All-Conference team. Joni was a multi-sport athlete and the first and only athlete to play two team sports, softball and soccer, at GCSU. She excelled on the playing fields and in the classroom. Her senior year, Joni was the recipient of GCSU Female Athlete of the Year as well as Student of the Year from the Department of Kinesiology and Health Sciences while graduating with honours.
After graduation, Joni moved to Europe to play professionally for the Zoetermeer Birds in the Dutch Softball League. Upon the end of her competitive playing career, Joni returned to the United States to pursue a career in coaching as an assistant with NCAA Division I Kennesaw State University under NFCA Hall Of Fame Coach and member of the USA National Team Coaching Pool, Scott Whitlock. At Kennesaw State University Joni earned her Master of Public Administration again graduating with honours. Joni has coached at all levels collegiately, including serving as the assistant coach for NCAA Division I Kennesaw State University, NCAA Division I Mercer University, where she was also an adjunct instructor for the Department of Athletics, assistant coach for NAIA Reinhardt College and assistant coach for NJCAA Georgia Military College.
Joni’s coaching career has taken her internationally also having served as the head coach of the Austrian national team at the European Championship in Valencia, Spain in 2009, and head coach of the Ugandan national team that competed at the WBSC XV World Championship in Surrey, Canada in 2016. In 2014 Joni lead Team B.C. to gold at the North American Indigenous Games in Regina, Saskatchewan and bronze in 2017 at the North American Indigenous Games in Toronto, Ontario.
In 2018 Joni received the coveted “Ringor Impact” award given to a coach who has made a lasting impression within the international softball community. Also in 2018, Joni earned her Master Coach status through the NFCA’s Coaches College.
Joni is the owner of “Beyond The White Lines Softball”; a training academy that uses softball as a vehicle for inspiring and impacting lives beyond the playing field. She is the head coach of the “Canada Futures” collegiate experience team, and head coach for Team B.C. that will compete at the North American Indigenous Games in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 2020. She is also the founder of “Grow The Game Uganda”.
In December of this year, Joni and her team will travel to Uganda to compete in the “East Africa-Canada Exhibition Series” while also travelling throughout the country providing player, coach and umpire development clinics.
Serving as the Director Coaching for Softball B.C. for more than four years Joni’s mission was to improve coach development, communication and legitimize women in coaching within the province. She created the Provincial Coach Development Program now represented in nearly all minor softball associations in B.C. Joni played an integral role in developing “CANHit”, a provincial hitting program designed to expand on NCCP concepts and principles.
While Joni has received recognition for a number of achievements her greatest is ongoing. One that includes firmly impacting the landscape of girls and women in sport and leadership within B.C., Canada and Uganda.
“My purpose on this earth is to build, so the next generation of women in coaching can be the benefactors.”
Danielle graduated with a degree in Psychology from Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi. There she helped lead her team to a conference title and multiple appearances in the NCAA Super Regionals.
Dani broke a number of school records at TAMUCC including an NCAA record for fewest walks in a season. Danielle received many academic accolades including Academic All-American. After graduation, Dani joined the TAMUCC staff, under Missy Dickerson (UCLA, 1988-1991), and worked as a pitching and conditioning coach for the softball program.
At Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi Danielle earned a Master’s Degree in Clinical Psychology. After this endeavour, Danielle moved to Europe to play/coach in Denmark. Here she participated in the European Championships and helped develop the sport of softball.
Currently, Danielle pitches for the Spanish National team and is serving as the Lead Instructor of Beyond The White Lines Softball Academy and is the Assistant Coach of the Canada Future’s Collegiate Showcase Team.
Current and Past Coaches and Instructors
Katherine Martin standout at NCAA Division II North Georgia College and State University.
Kerri Nidiffer standout at NCAA Division I Mercer University.
Michelle Webster former head coach Kansas Wesleyan University. Former bullpen catcher Team Canada. 2018 BC Summer Games coach. Team BC Head Coach North American Indigenous Games. (Camp Reporter :))
Jaimie Sing former standout player Brewton Parker College, current teacher.
Jocelyn Cater Team Canada pitcher, former standout player for Syracuse University.
Katelyn Bedwell former SOCON player of the year UNCG, former professional player Italian Softball League.
Nicole Sereda former standout Douglas College. Current Canada Futures coach. 2018 BC Summer Games coach.
Sydney Jeffers former standout player at Jamestown University.
Don Stopa current assistant coach University of North Dakota.
Emma Johansen former coach Alabama State University. Current assistant University West Florida.
Grace Wardle former standout Graceland University.
Meghan Malkowich former standout Simon Fraser University.
Ali Heard former standout Jefferson College.
Hunter Veach former assistant coach Auburn University. Current assistant coach Cleveland Comets, National Pro Fastpitch League.
Jenn Salling former standout University of Washington. Team Canada.
Jenn Starkey Mental Performance Coach at Fastpitch Fit and MVP Leadership Academy
Craig Sarson Head Coach University of Toronto
Danielle de Ruiter Canadian Junior National Team, Pensacola College, North Alabama University
Michael Bastian former Head Coach Chinese National Team, USA National Coaching Staff and Team TFS
Xin Miao Beijing Provincial Softball Team, Head Coach North China University of Technology
Ashley Pauly former standout at the University of Georgia, former assistant coach University of Louisville, current assistant coach at the University of Louisiana Lafayette
Sarah Pauly Professional Softball Player in the National Pro Fastpitch League, Italian, Japanese and New Zealand Softball League, former pitching coach at the Chinese Olympic Training Center
Stefanie Gollin current standout Dakota State University
Sarah Purvis former All-American Georgia Southern University
Dallas Tilley former standout at Simon Fraser University, current assistant coach Fraser Valley Fusion
Taylor Miller former standout Douglas College and Team BC
Camille Chao former standout South Surrey and current Canada Futures Coach
Alana Westerhof former standout University of British Columbia, current teacher
Scott Oliver Surrey Storm Executive and Head Coach
Natasha Bedard former standout Douglas College
Alicia Herron former stand out Ohio State University, National Pro Fastpitch Player Akron Racers, current assistant coach Iowa State University
Kandace Vollman current Canada Futures Coach, TimBits coordinator, Coquitlam Classics Head Coach
Wong Sau Ching Black Belt Taekwondo, Speed-Agility-Quickness Coach
Corinne Ozanne former stand out University of Syracuse, current coach Lafayette College
Carissa Chapman Abbotsford Outlaws Executive and Head Coach
Kira Staley former standout Douglas College
George Edwards Head Coach South Alberta Institute of Technology
Kim Griffin Head Coach Canisius College
Scott Ashworth former standout Team BC Golf
Nina Hendriks Dutch National Team, Indian Hills Community College
Megan Hourihane current standout Douglas College
Alicia Terwilliger assistant coach Western Washington University
Allison Wiens former standout Douglas College
Jacquelyn Novak Czech Softball Federation
Tina Whitlock Former Assistant Coach University of South Carolina, current Assistant Coach British National Team
Tristen Ramsay Athletic Trainer
Joni Frei - Coaching Philosophy
- To facilitate an environment in which athletes can become champions in the game of life far beyond the parameters of the white lines. “Sport has the power to change the world. It has the power to inspire. It has the power to unite people in a way that little else does…” – Nelson Mandela
- Facilitate a culture of personal growth and achievement. “People believe…their talents and abilities can be developed through passion, education, and persistence. For them…it’s about a commitment to learning – taking informed risks and learning from the results, surrounding yourself with people who will challenge you to grow, looking frankly at your deficiencies and seeking to remedy them.” – Carol Dweck.
- Transformational & Participative Leadership
- Growth mindset