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Leah Johnson leaves ISU volleyball for Michigan State after 3 MVC titles

Leah Johnson led ISU to three straight MVC titles as volleyball coach. (Photo: Danny Reise/Illinois State)
Danny Reise/Illinois State
Leah Johnson led ISU to three straight MVC titles as volleyball coach. (Photo: Danny Reise/Illinois State)

Volleyball coach Leah Johnson is leaving Illinois State University after one of the most successful five-year stretches in program history.

Michigan State University Director of Athletics Alan Haller announced Monday that Johnson has been named MSU’s head volleyball coach. The announcement comes weeks after Johnson signed a five-year extension that would have kept Johnson at ISU through the 2027 season.

“We can’t thank Leah enough for all she has done to bring Redbird volleyball to new heights,” said ISU Director of Athletics Kyle Brennan. “She has been a true champion, not only on the court with her teams, but also for the student-athletes she has mentored, for other coaches in our program and for the University as a whole. Her dedication, commitment and passion for Redbird volleyball has been amazing and we wish her the best of luck in her new journey at Michigan State.”

Johnson led the Redbirds to five straight postseason tournament appearances during her five seasons at ISU, including four consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances and three straight Missouri Valley Conference (MVC) Tournament championships.

The Redbirds compiled a 104-52 record in Johnson’s five seasons as coach. Her 66.6% winning percentage ranks seventh best in MVC history.

“I am honored to have been a part of Redbird volleyball’s long tradition of success,” Johnson said in a statement. “I am proud of the amazing service and growth the student-athletes were able to accomplish both on and off the court during my time here in Normal, and I can’t wait to see what this group will continue to accomplish in the years to come.”

ISU athletics said a national search to find a new head coach begins immediately.

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Eric Stock is the News Director at WGLT. You can contact Eric at ejstoc1@ilstu.edu.
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