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Leah Johnson named new Michigan State volleyball head coach

Michigan State Athletic Communications

Michigan State women’s volleyball has named Leah Johnson as head coach. Johnson replaces Cathy George, who announced her retirement last month after 17 seasons with the program.

At her most recent coaching stint, Illinois State, Johnson had an overall record of 104-53. She led the Redbirds to four consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances and never finished worse than third in the Missouri Valley Conference.

“I am humbled and excited by the opportunity to lead the Michigan State volleyball program,” Johnson said in a press release. “Thank you to Vice President and Director of Athletics Alan Haller for entrusting me with the legacy of success built by Cathy George and the coaches before her. The Big Ten is the premier volleyball conference in the country and I am thrilled to be coaching in such a competitive league. Michigan State has the potential to be in the national conversation on an annual basis. I am eager to get to work helping the team achieve greatness on and off the court.”

Michigan State should be excited for what Johnson brings to the program, both in recruiting and competitiveness.

“Leah brings a track record of success on the court and on the recruiting trail to Michigan State volleyball,” Michigan State Vice President and Director of Athletics Alan Haller said in a press release. “Her competitive nature and determined approach is evident in all areas of her program, especially the passion she has for her student-athletes and their success, both on and off the court. It’s an approach that’s led to conference championships, NCAA Tournament appearances and individual honors for her student-athletes. Her drive will energize our fanbase, building on the proud tradition of Spartan volleyball.”

Last season, Johnson led the youngest team in the Missouri Valley Conference to a 19-14 record, including a 13-5 in-conference mark, and second-place finish in the conference standings. Illinois State rallied from a 2-0 deficit against No. 1 seed Loyola in five sets to win a third-straight Missouri Valley title.

Johnson was the 2021 American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) North Region Coach of the Year.

Coach Johnson Introductory Remarks