Leah Johnson was named the seventh head volleyball coach at Illinois State on June 21, 2017.
In Johnson’s first year at the helm, the Redbirds finished in the top-15 nationally in several statistical categories. Illinois State compiled the third-most digs as a team (2,515) and fourth-highest digs per set (19.20), led by libero Courtney Pence who finished the season with the second-most digs (821) in all of NCAA Division I.
Associate Head Coach
Eric Plunkett enters his seventh season as an assistant volleyball coach at Illinois State in 2018 after being named associate head coach in April 2016. Plunkett joined the Illinois State staff prior to the 2012 season, and brings a wide variety of experience, coaching both women and men at various levels.
The Redbirds have compiled a combined record of 142-84 over Plunkett’s first six seasons with the team. Illinois State has registered a winning record in each season during Plunkett’s tenure, and won Missouri Valley Conference regular-season and tournament titles in 2014.
Mike Becker is in his first season as an assistant coach at Illinois State.
Becker comes to Illinois State after serving as the Director of Operations at Pitt for the last three seasons. Pitt reached the NCAA Tournament in each of Becker’s years on staff, marking the program’s longest postseason streak since reaching five-consecutive NCAA Tournaments from 1990-94. The Panthers also earned back-to-back ACC Championships in 2017 and 2018 with Becker on the sidelines.
Emily Siefken enters her first season as Illinois State’s director of volleyball operations, after previously serving as Illinois State’s men’s golf operations graduate assistant during the 2016-17 academic year.
Siefken brings a variety of experiences in athletics to her current position. In her previous role with Illinois State’s men’s golf team, Siefken was responsible for the planning and execution of team travel, meals and lodging, while assisting with scheduling and social media promotion.