Joni Frei
Joni Frei
Title: Head Coach
Year: 1 (Sep 2019)

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 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 2019 Joni and her team will travel to Uganda to compete in the “East Africa-Canada Exhibition Series” while also traveling 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.