Northwestern coach Missy Johnson congratulates junior Jenna Robbins after Robbins hit a three-run homer Monday against Arcanum. Greg Billing/Contributed photo

Northwestern’s Johnson resigns after 19 seasons

Longtime Northwestern High School softball coach Missy Johnson recently resigned after 19 seasons.

She has 367 career wins, which ranks fifth all-time in Clark County history. She told her team midway through the season it would be her last as she needs to spend more time focusing on her two boys, Mason (13) and Miles (8), both of whom are three-sport athletes.

“I still love the sport and I still love the girls, but I need to take some time away and be a mom,” Johnson said.

Northwestern athletic director Jeff Hobby understood Johnson’s decision.

“Her kids are growing up, she’s missing a lot and I wouldn’t wish that or hope that for anybody,” he said. “She’s doing what she’s got to do for her and her family. I wish her the best.”

During Johnson’s tenure, the Warriors won seven Central Buckeye Conference Mad River Division titles, four district titles and advanced to the Division III state tournament in 2017.

“We were trying to continue the tradition that Mrs. Dutton set up here,” Johnson said. “We’ve always had high expectations. Winning six league titles in a row, the girls thought nothing less. If we didn’t win the league, something was wrong.”

Johnson, a 1996 Northwestern grad and former University of Dayton softball player, replaced her former high school coach, Nancy Dutton — the county’s leader in career wins with 513 in 29 seasons.

“Those were huge shoes to fill,” Johnson said. “I was lucky enough to have Mrs. Dutton help me my first few years coaching and kind of show me the ropes and get me acclimated of what to expect.”

In 48 seasons, Dutton and Johnson combined for 880 victories, an average of more than 18 per year.

“Missy didn’t back down from the challenges,” Hobby said. “She’s done a great job.”

Johnson’s husband, Matt, is an assistant basketball coach for the Cedarville High School girls basketball team. She couldn’t have continued coaching this long without her parents, Bob and JoEllen Mellott.

“If it weren’t for them, I may have had to stop coaching a lot sooner,” she said.

Johnson will continue to teach in the district. The job has been posted and will be filled as soon as possible, Hobby said.

“Hopefully we’ll get a qualified person who can come in and pick up where she’s left off,” he said.

It’s possible Johnson could return to coaching once her boys get older, she said.

“The running joke with us that when my niece gets up to school, I’ll coach her,” Johnson said. “She’s 3, so I’ve got some time.”

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