Laura Christopher - Assistant Coach - 1st Season
Laura Christopher entered her first year as assistant coach for the Swedes during the 2009-10 academic year, bringing more than 12 years of competitive playing experience to the table.
After three shoulder surgeries, Christopher returned to the field and closed out her collegiate softball career as a DP and second baseman for Bethany. In her two years as a Swede, she earned two all-KCAC and NAIA Scholar Athlete honors. Named captain as a senior, Christopher helped Bethany reach the KCAC conference championship in 2009.
Before becoming a Bethany College Swede, she played softball at NCAA Division I Georgia State University and Lamar Community College (Colorado).
A native of Aurora, Colo., Christopher graduated from Bethany in 2009 with a bachelor's degree in sports management. She currently works as a reporter and columnist for the Lindsborg News-Record.
Janice Esses - Head Coach - 9th Season
Janice Esses has led the Bethany College Softball program since 2002. In three years, she directed the Swedes to a regular season conference championship, a conference tournament championship, and an appearance in the NAIA Region IV tournament.
Coach Esses earned her bachelors degree in biology at Bethany College. She enjoyed a successful playing career while at Bethany. She was a two-sport athlete, competing in basketball and softball. As a collegiate softball player, she was a two time All-Conference catcher for the Swedes. She also was named team MVP by her teammates.
Esses graduated from Bethany in 2001. She went on to graduate school at Wichita State University where she planned to pursue a career in physical therapy before having the opportunity to return to Bethany as an assistant coach.
She began her coaching career at Bethany College. During her first season as head coach the Swedes struggled to a 9-29 record with a squad of 12 women. However, the team did reach the final four in the conference tournament. In 2003, the Swedes had a turnaround year, finishing at the top of their conference with a 10-4 conference record (19-22 overall).
Esses is excited about Swede softball, and she has high expectations for the upcoming season. She is a competitor who deeply cares for her players. The greatest joy for her is watching her players grow and develop each day.
Kevin Noonan - Assistant Coach - 3rd Season
Kevin Noonan comes to the Swedes with 36 years of coaching experience split up between Sacred Heart Junior High (1972-1978), and Southeast of Saline (1978-present). Noonan graduated from Kansas Wesleyan in 1971, where he earned his B.A. in teaching. He now teaches at Southeast of Saline. Noonan played baseball at Kansas Wesleyan from 1968-1971, and was honored with two years of All KCAC for 2nd base. Another accomplishment Noonan has is being the assistant coach of the 2003 Salina South softball state champion team. Noonan is married to Becky Noonan, who is a math teacher at South middle school. They have two kids; daughter Kelli Noonan, who is a senior at Bethany College, and son Casey Noonan, who is a graduate of Washburn University.
Mike Smith - Assistant Coach - 2nd Season
Levi Esses - Recruiting Assistant - 4th Season
Returnee Levi Esses comes into his third year as the Swedes recruiting coordinator and assistant coach. Esses comes to the Swedes with seven years of coaching experience in softball, basketball, and football. Esses started his coaching career as the Smoky Valley High School basketball assistant coach for a year. He then was the Varsity coach for the Chase girls basketball team for two years. Esses switched to football, and coached for the Bethany College football team in 2001, 2002, and 2006. Esses graduated from Bethany College in 2002 with a B.A. in Secondary Math Education. He then received his Masters from Wichita State in Sports Administration. Esses played football while he attended Bethany College. Esses now works at Kansas State University-Salina, working as the Assistant Director of College Advancement for Student Life.
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Sunday, May 19
No events scheduled for today