Michigan State names Leah Johnson new volleyball coach

Matt Charboneau
The Detroit News

Michigan State has found its new volleyball coach.

After Cathy George retired last month following 17 seasons, the Spartans announced on Monday they have hired Leah Johnson to take over the volleyball program.

“Leah brings a track record of success on the court and on the recruiting trail to Michigan State volleyball,” athletic director Alan 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.”

Johnson comes to Michigan State after coaching at Illinois State for the past five seasons, leading that program to a 104-53 record with four straight appearances in the NCAA Tournament.

"I am humbled and excited by the opportunity to lead the Michigan State volleyball program,” Johnson said. “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.” 

Before her time at Illinois State, Johnson spent six seasons as head coach at SIU-Edwardsville where she was named the Ohio Valley Conference Coach of the Year in 2016 and guided SIUE through its transition from Division II to Division I. She has also been an assistant at Notre Dame (2010), Missouri State (2008-09) and Texas-Pan American (2007).

mcharboneau@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @mattcharboneau