Bringing NCAA Tournament and conference championship experience to East Lansing, Leah Johnson has been named head volleyball coach at Michigan State. Vice President and Director of Athletics Alan Haller made the announcement on Feb. 7.
"Leah brings a track record of success on the court and on the recruiting trail to Michigan State volleyball," Haller said. "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. On behalf of the entire community, I'm excited to welcome Leah, her husband A.J. and their kids Edie and P.J. to our Spartan family."
Johnson has directed the Illinois State program the last five seasons, guiding the Redbirds to a 104-53 record and five postseason appearances, including four straight NCAA Tournaments, marking the longest streak at ISU in nearly four decades (1982-85).
"I am humbled and excited by the opportunity to lead the Michigan State volleyball program," Johnson said. "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."
total speculation: did one job come knocking, ISU countered with the extension and Leah didn’t feel the other job was worth it (maybe Iowa). Then Cathy retired, MSU came knocking and offered more and a better situation than the previous school that was knocking, and this time Leah felt it was worth it. Again, total speculation! Based off the contract extension announcement coming a day before Cathy retired, the extension had to of been in works for a few days at least