The new University of South Dakota women’s volleyball head coach is a familiar face among players and fans.
Williamson helped coach the Coyotes to a Great West Conference championship in 2010 and to a Summit League tournament semifinal finish this past season.
Williamson said she takes over with the advantage of already knowing her team.
“I know the girls are ready, I know their strengths and weaknesses and I do not have to go and spend two weeks trying to get to know them,” Williamson said.
Junior Kendall Kritenbrink said she is excited to have Williamson as a coach going into her senior year knowing she has a connection with her coach already.
“She has been with the program and school awhile and has good relationships with all the girls and is knowledgable about the game,” Kritenbrink said. “She knows each player as an individual, what their strengths and weaknesses are and how to approach them when they are struggling.”
Williamson said she plans to use the same coaching style the team is used to, with some minor adjustments.
“My coaching philosophy is to compete, play as a team, continue to strive to the next level and never be satisfied,” Williamson said.
USD named Leanne Williamson to the Coyote volleyball head coach position April 9. Williamson was previously named interim head coach March 13 after former head coach Matt Houk announced his resignation.
Associate athletic director Jamie Oyen said after a nationwide search, Williamson was the best fit for the program.
“We were looking for someone who was the right fit for the program and (Williamson) is the one,” Oyen said. “She has proven she is a good leader and coach, and she is extremely knowledgable about the game of volleyball.”
Williamson is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, where she played volleyball from 2004-07, and joined the Coyotes in 2009. Williamson served as Houk’s assistant coach for the past five seasons.
Williamson said she is ready to take over and build more onto the program.
“I am extremely excited about the opportunity to continue the program and the direction I helped get it started in,” Williamson said.
The past six seasons the Coyotes have a 97-85 record including a 19-13 record this past fall, winning every home game.