JJ is a former Major League Baseball pitcher. He played with the New York Yankees his entire MLB career. Born in Durham, North Carolina, Johnson attended South Granville High School, then University of North Carolina at Charlotte where he played college baseball. He was one of nine people from UNCC to have played Major League Baseball. On June 1, 1988, JJ was drafted by the New York Yankees in the 6th round (157th overall pick) of the 1988 amateur draft and made his major league debut on June 5, 1991 at age 24. JJ went on to become a pitching coach for the Pittsburg Pirates Baseball organization. He has returned home to North Carolina and is now the Pitching Director and Coordinator for Ultimate Performance Sports. JJ has a passion for teaching young players the game of baseball and will inspire them to challenge themselves to strive to reach their goals. We are thrilled to welcome Coach JJ to the Ultimate Team.
Chad is a North Carolina native who attended West Mecklenburg High School before he compiled a .339 batting average during his career at East Carolina University. He was selected by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the seventh round of the 2001 Major League Baseball draft. In four minor league seasons, Tracy hit .335 with 24 home runs, 85 doubles, and 206 RBIs in 337 games. Tracy made his major league debut with Arizona in 2004. He finished his rookie season with a .285 average, eight home runs, 53 RBIs, and a .343 on-base percentage in 143 games. In 2005, Tracy had a breakout season, as he batted .308 (7th-best in the league) with 27 home runs and 72 RBIs. He also had a slugging percentage of .533, 10th-best in the NL. In 2010 Tracy played with the Cubs, Yankees, and Marlins. He then played ball in Hiroshima, Japan before returning to play with the Washington Nationals in the spring of 2012. Tracy ended his career as a player with the Los Angeles Angels in 2014. Chad, his wife Katie, and their four daughters are happy to call Charlotte home.
4 year starter at Covenant Day
Career batting average of .560
Holds Covenant Day records for career batting average, doubles, walks, hit by pitches and highest fielding percentage
2009 and 2010 All-Conference
2007 and 2009 South East Super Team for the National Christian School Athletic Association
Charlotte Observer Freshman of the Year 2007
Matthews-Mint Hill Play of the Year for 2009 and 2010
Hunter played one year of baseball at Covenant College before an injury ended his career.
4 years of middle school coaching experience at Carmel Christian School where his team had a record of 46-6 with 4 conference championships
2 years of junior varsity coaching experience at Carmel Christian School where his team went 16-6
West is from Lakeland, TN and attended St Benedict at Auburndale High School. He was a career .368 hitter with 5 hrs, 26 2B, and sported a 2.82 ERA on the mound. West was a 3 time all metro selection and rated 248th nationally for the 2013 high school class by Perfect Game.
He attended Gulf Coast State College is freshman and sophomore season throwing 137 innings with a 3.14 ERA. West was a 1st team all conference selection is freshman year, 3rd team all American, and 1st team region all academic team his freshman and sophomore season. He was National Player of the week throwing two CGs with a 0.00 ERA, 14Ks, and a 2-0 record in 2015.
West transferred to East Carolina University after his sophomore season and redshirted due to injury. West’s redshirt junior season he led the team in ERA with a 3.14 over 28 IP and had a 2-1 record. His senior year West had a 3.27 ERA appearing in 17 games. With the Pirates, West was part of the 2016 Charlottesville Regional Championship, and participated in the Lubbock Super Regional. In 2018 he was a member of the AAC Championship Team and hosted a Regional in Greenville, NC.
He graduated from East Carolina with his Bachelors Degree in Finance and is in graduate school to get his Masters in Business Administration. West enjoys coaching baseball and developing players to reach their highest potential mentally and physically. He is available for pitching lessons, as well as hitting and infield instruction.
Patrick grew up in Alpharetta, Georgia and attended Mount Pisgah Christian School where he was a 2-sport varsity athlete. He was selected All-Region as a Pitcher and Shortstop. He was also an All-Region Defensive Back for the Patriots Varsity Football Team.
Patrick continued his career for 4 years as a student-athlete at Maryville College (TN). Patrick was a captain of the Scots baseball team his Junior and Senior seasons. He helped lead Maryville to over 100 wins in his 4 years. Patrick was a wide-ranging Shortstop for the Scots and during his senior season, he batted .304 with 7 2B, 18 R, and 20 RBI. During his time at Maryville, Patrick majored in Finance and Economics. He graduated with honors, Cum Laude, was a Bonner Scholar, and served as the President of the Maryville College Athletes for Change Committee.
After graduation, Patrick spent one season coaching for Team Rawlings SE out of Alpharetta, Georgia. He then moved Charlotte to start his career as a Mortgage Banker with Atlantic Bay Mortgage Group. Patrick began coaching with Ultimate Performance because of his love for the game of baseball and his desire to give back to younger players that strive to reach the next level.
John is a Charlotte native and played locally at Independence High School (98) and Wingate University (03). In 2003, John was named a Division II All American at Wingate and inducted in to the Wingate Sports Hall of Fame in 2014. He signed an independent professional contract in 2004 with the Kenosha Mammoths of Kenosha, WI and played the 2005 season in Springfield, MO for the Springfield/Ozark Ducks. After retiring from baseball, John was the Head Coach at Myers Park HS from 2008-2011. In 2010 he was named Mecklenburg County Coach of the Year. In his 3 year tenure at MPHS, he sent several players to play in college and had a handful drafted. From 2011-2014, John managed, owned and operated the Ballantyne Smokies winning the SCBL Championship in 2012. John currently works in the medical sales field and coaches football, baseball and wrestling in his spare time. He resides in Indian Land, SC with this wife Jamie and son Jett. His daughter is currently a junior at the University of South Carolina at Beaufort acquiring a nursing degree.
A former Independence Patriot himself from 1992-1994 where he played all 3 years on varsity as the starting center fielder. Has been coaching baseball for 20 years from youth all the way to the high school level. He is in his second stent with Independence High School first time was for two years in 1996 and 1997 under the leadership of Mark Mennitt(now at Marvin Ridge High School). He rejoined the patriots in the year 2013 as the JV head coach and Varsity Assistant coach where he has lead JV to a 44-21 record.
Another proud Charlotte native, Heath graduated from Providence High School in 1994. Coach Brown was All State in 1993 and 1994 as a High School First Basemen and Outfielder. Once graduating High School he attended Brevard Junior College 1994-1996. As a freshmen their team traveled to Grand Junction Colorado where they played in the Jr. College World Series.
In 1996-1998 Coach Brown went to Pfeiffer University. He was a 2 time All American. He received his degree in Sports Management in 1996 and began coaching as a grad assistant.
In 1998 he traveled to Amsterdam to play in Europe.
Along with being our 16U coach at Ultimate Performance, Heath is the assistant Baseball Coach at Providence High School since 2004.
He has over 20 years of Coaching Experience.
Chad Griffin is a native Charlottean, he was drafted from Garinger High School in 1993 by the Oakland A's. While in High School, Chad led the Southeastern conference in hitting for 3 years. He was selected for Player of the Year and All State teams. Chad continued his baseball career playing middle infield for the A’s organization then went to the Seattle Mariners before leaving professional baseball and returning home. Chad owned and operated Extra Innings Baseball Academy where he instructed players from age 6 to professionals. He has 20 plus years experience coaching, instructing, individual lessons, camps and clinics. He continues to stay connected to the game he loves by coaching youth baseball and doing individual lessons.
Thomas is a native of Matthews. He was team captain on both the basketball and baseball teams at Sun Valley High School where he was part of three conference championship teams and was first team All-conference in baseball in 1997. After transferring to Montreat College, Thomas was a two time first team All-conference performer. He was 2001 All-Region XII first team and earned NAIA honorable mention All-America honors the same year. As a senior in 2002, Thomas was third in the country with 75 RBI’s tallied in 59 games played and upon graduating held several school records including RBI’s per game and career fielding percentage. In a two year college career he hit 24 home runs, had a .352 batting average, a .541 on base percentage, slugged .612 and had a .988 fielding percentage.
Thomas has coached all ages of youth baseball for 11 years from ages 4 to 18. He has managed the Mustangs for the past 3 years and brings the team to Ultimate Performance to join a familiar staff. One of his mentors in high school was Jeff “JJ” Johnson from Extra Innings Baseball Academy. Thomas played collegiate summer ball with John Spencer when the two were SCBL all-stars in 2001 and he played against Chad Tracy in legion ball.
Thomas is a home builder and his family lives in Matthews. He has three boys and a girl, Reynolds, whom he and Bonnie adopted in 2016.
Best known for his heroics in the 2001 World Series, Tony Womack spent 13 seasons in Major League Baseball, terrorizing base paths along the way. Six years after he was selected by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 7th round of the 1991 first year player draft, Womack burst onto the major league scene as a rookie in 1997. As the Pirates leadoff hitter he had 178 hits, including 26 doubles and led all National Leaguers with 60 stolen bases en route to earning an All-Star selection.
After another successful campaign in Pittsburgh in 1998, Womack was traded to the Arizona Diamondbacks prior to the 1999 season. He wound up leading the NL in stolen bases for a third consecutive year that season, swiping 72 bags.
Womack would cement his Diamondbacks legacy in the 2001 postseason. With Arizona trailing the New York Yankees 2-1 in the bottom of the ninth inning in game seven of the World Series, Womack smacked a double off closer Mariano Rivera to tie the game. Two batters later, teammate Luis Gonzales singled in the wining run and the Diamondbacks won the Fall Classic in dramatic fashion. Womack would spend two more seasons in Arizona before being moved to the Colorado Rockies, eventually retiring in 2006. He finished his career with 1,353 hits and 363 stolen bases.
From Wilkes-Barre, PA, Bucky had a successful 3-sport prep career at James M.
Coughlin High School. As a senior, Bucky was named All-State and All-Northeast in
football and finished 5 th in the state as a wrestler. In baseball, Bucky hit .579 and did
not allow a stolen base as the catcher, which earned him a 2 nd consecutive All-
Conference team selection. Bucky accepted a scholarship to play football at Penn
State University, where he was a four-year letter winner and a captain for the
undefeated 1994 Big Ten Championship team voted the #2 team in the nation.
Bucky played 3 years in the NFL, mostly for the Carolina Panthers. In 2005 he was
inducted into the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame.
Prior to joining UP, Bucky was a league commissioner and coach for a Charlotte-area
recreational league. As the Challenge/All-Star head coach for the league, Bucky led
teams to four consecutive Dixie Youth Baseball district finals - winning two. His
teams qualified for two state tournaments where they finished as the state runner-
up in 2017, earning them a spot in the 2017 Dixie Youth Baseball World Series.
Bucky is a district business manager for a global pharmaceutical company and lives
in Charlotte with his wife, daughter and son.
We are happy to have Ashton as our Softball Coordinator at Ultimate Performance. She will be working with our athletes, giving lessons, and a familiar face at our Facility. Below is her resume. UP family please help us in welcoming Ashton!
Ashton Whitaker is from McLeansville, North Carolina, where she attended Eastern Guilford High School. As a four year starter on varsity Ashton earned All-Conference and All-Area Team honors, aswell as holding offensive records at Eastern. Ashton continued her softball career at Queens University of Charlotte, where she specialized offensively and on the corners of the infield. Ashton lead her team offensively throughout her career, where she earned All-Conference honors her junior and senior season. After graduating from Queens University with a degree in exercise and sport science, Ashton continued her softball career as the Graduate Assistant Coach at Queens University. As the Graduate Assistant coach she helped lead the team to a record breaking season; programs first season being nationally ranked, broke the programs record for wins, and programs first at-large bid for NCAA Regionals. Her love for coaching continued when she entered the travel softball coaching world in 2017 where she instructed and lead elite teams such as Caroline Elite and Lady Blues. Ashton continues her softball career giving lessons where she teaches all areas of the game, focusing on enhancing girls physical and mental game.
Jessica Bowen has been in the world of softball and baseball for over 20 years. As a standout for Butler High School, Jessica helped lead the Bulldogs to three consecutive NC 4A state championships, earning all conference, all state, and still holds many titles. Jessica continued her career at Wingate University where she started all 4 years and graduated with her Bachelors degree in science and minored in business.
That wasn't enough for Jessica - she continued her career as both a hitting and pitching instructor for softball and baseball in Charlotte where she's mentored young men and women who have gone on to play college ball at many D1 & D2 institutions. She's also coached for nationally ranked and recognized teams like Lady Lightening and Carolina Elite - playing against and beating the best in the nation.
Jessica is a fundamentals instructor that focuses on building the right mechanics in addition to developing the players feel and game intelligence making them into multi-dimensional, competitive, and confident players. She teaches all positions and her workouts aren't easy, but being the best isn't about what's easy, it's about taking it "one day at a time" and becoming the best player you can be.