Assistant Softball Pitching Coach
Hillary Johnson joins the Husky Softball coaching staff this fall with primary duties as the pitching coach and assists in player development.
Johnson had been with the Burnsville High School program since 1999. From 1999 to 2005, coach Johnson served as an assistant coach under legendary coach Pat Feely, with the team earning five conference championships, two section championships and two state championships.
In 2006, Johnson took over the reins as head coach and served in that capacity through the spring of 2012. During her tenure as head coach, coach Johnson’s teams had an impressive record of 140-31, earning conference championships in 2007, 2009 and 2011, a section championship in 2010, and a state championship in 2010. Johnson was named both the Section Coach of the Year and the Minnesota State High School Coach of the Year in 2010.
Additionally, Johnson coached two Metro Players of the Year, one Gatorade State Player of the Year, one Ms. Softball award winner, 17 All-State players, 12 All-Star Game Participants, and three Academic All-State Players. She has served on the softball advisory committee to the MSHSL, as the Section 3AAA Representative to the Softball Coaches Association, as the Coaches Association Treasurer, and as the Girls Coaches Representative to the MSHSL Region 3AA Committee. Coach Johnson has also previously served as an assistant coach with Burnsville High School’s volleyball program.
Johnson played collegiate at the University of Minnesota and graduated with a major in Economics. She received her master's at the University of Minnesota in Math Education. She had been a math teacher at Burnsville High School (1999-2012) and now is currently employed by Becker High School.
Graduate Assistant Coach
Jen Daro is in her second year as a softball assistant coach at St. Cloud State.
Daro is from Omaha, Nebraska (Skutt Catholic High School) and attended and played softball at Creighton University. She aided the Bluejays to 94 wins in her four years with the program including 32 victories in BIG EAST Conference play.
Daro ended her career with a batting average of .236, 69 runs, 108 hits, 15 doubles, 21 home runs, 76 RBIs, a .406 slugging percentage, 80 walks, 39 hit by pitches, 14 sacrifice hits and 14 stolen bases. She recorded 928 putouts and 102 assists along with a .981 fielding percentage. Daro finished her career as the school’s all-time leader in hit by pitches.
She hit .297 as a sophomore with 22 runs, 33 hits, seven home runs plus 24 RBIs along with 17 walks and was hit by 10 pitches in 43 games and starts as the team’s primary first baseman. Daro also won a pair of games in the circle and completed all three games that she started in throwing 19.1 innings. She ranked third on the team in batting average and in on-base percentage (.435).
As a junior, Daro hit .302 with 20 runs, 38 hits, nine home runs, 39 RBIs and a slugging percentage of .548 in 47 games and starts between first and third base. She led the team in RBIs, home runs and slugging percentage. Her home run total was ranked third in the BIG EAST.
Daro was on the 2014 BIG EAST All-Academic Team. She earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology in the spring of 2017 and intends to pursue a master’s degree in Higher Education and Leadership at St. Cloud State.
“Playing at Creighton and in the BIG EAST conference, Jen has a great background of softball experience to bring into our program,” said Coach U’Ren. As a four-year starter for Creighton, she proved to be a very successful student-athlete both on and off the field. Jen's primary duty will be the recruiting coordinator, along with assisting in skill development of the infielders and our offensive players. "
Haley Covais joined the St. Cloud State softball program as an assistant coach in 2018.
A native of Lennox, South Dakota, Covais has over five years of experience in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC) as both a student-athlete and coach. After an impressive all-state career in high school, Covais played for Northern State in 2013, where she posted a .238 batting average with 20 hits, four home runs and 19 RBI as a first year. She then played softball at the University of Sioux Falls from 2015 to 2016, helping the Cougars qualify for the NSIC tournament with a record of 34-20 her senior season.
After concluding her career as a player, Covais joined the Sioux Falls coaching staff in 2017, once again guiding the Cougars to the NSIC tournament. Additionally, Covais is also the head coach of the Sioux Falls Steel and led that team to a ninth place finish at USA 16U Nationals this past summer.
"Haley will be a great addition to our coaching staff," U'Ren said in a recent statement. "She has experience in the NSIC as both a student-athlete and an assistant coach. Haley has a true passion for teaching the game and a great work ethic. I look forward to everything that she will bring to our Husky softball program."
Covais earned her degree in biology from Sioux Falls and is currently pursuing her master's in sports administration.