Assistant Softball Coach Jenna Roberts talks about what brought her to NIU and what it means to coach here in DeKalb.
In her third season at Northern Illinois University, Heather Han works with the NIU infielders and outfielders.
Last year, Han helped freshman Kayti Grable earn the MAC Freshman of the Year Award, in addition to a spot on the All-MAC team. Han also had a hand in helping Shelby Miller claim the Nan Harvey Sportswoman of the Year Award, which is given annually by the conference to an individual who exhibits leadership qualities on and off the diamond. Statistically, the Huskies led the MAC and rank 28th nationally in double plays with 24, while finishing second in putouts and third in assists.
In 2013, Han helped guide first baseman Jennifer Barnett to a first team All-MAC selection, two MAC West Player of the Week honors, MAC Honor Roll and NFCA All-America Scholar Athlete. Barnett was also a finalist for the prestigious Senior CLASS Award. Another top performer in the infield last season was shortstop Amanda Sheppard. Sheppard excelled on the softball field and in the classroom being named to the MAC All Tournament Team, earning academic All-MAC, NIU Outstanding Woman Award, MAC Honor Roll and NFCA All-America accolades.
Han came to NIU after spending the 2012 season as a volunteer assistant at UIC. Prior to her year with the Flames, she spent two years as an assistant coach at her alma mater, Eastern Michigan University, while serving as a graduate assistant in EMU's Student Athlete Support Services department.
A native of Lafayette, Ind., Han lettered for the Eagles from 2006-09, starting 180 games, including all 45 games of the 2008 season behind the plate. She ranks ninth on EMU's career doubles list with 31. Han excelled on the field and in the classroom, as she was named to the 2006 MAC All-Freshman Team and earned Academic All-MAC accolades in 2009.
Han earned her bachelor's degree in elementary education reading in 2009 and her master's in sport management in 2011 from Eastern Michigan. She was on the Dean's List all four years.