EAST LANSING, Mich. – Michigan State head volleyball coach Leah Johnson announced the hiring of Zheng Xiang as an assistant coach on Tuesday.
Xiang arrives in East Lansing after spending the last nine years at Rice University (2014-22), where he was associate head coach for the last four seasons.
“First I would like to thank Head Coach Leah Johnson and Assistant Coach Jake Barreau for their trust in me, they are great friends,” Xiang said. “I appreciate the time and effort Associate Athletic Director Julee Burgess and the entire hiring committee took to get to know me better throughout this process. Coach Johnson has started building something special in East Lansing and I am fortunate to be a part of it. Thank you to Genny Volpe and everyone at Rice for a tremendous nine seasons. I would not be the person or coach I am today without you.”
Xiang has been pivotal in Rice’s ascent to becoming one of the top programs in the country, helping the Owls to a 199-69 (.742) overall record with a 105-21 (.833) mark in Conference USA action throughout his nine seasons. Rice finished 2022 ranked No. 19 in the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) poll with a 27-4 record and a second-round appearance in the NCAA Tournament.
Under Xiang, Rice advanced to the NCAA Tournament in five consecutive seasons (2018-22), winning one C-USA regular season title (2018), two C-USA West Division titles (2020, 2021) and two C-USA tournament titles (2018, 2022). Rice advanced to the NCAA Round of 32 in 2019, 2021 and 2022.
As Rice’s defensive coordinator, Xiang coached the C-USA Libero of the Year this past season. Rice’s middle blockers earned two honorable mention All-American honors and nine All-Region recognitions in his nine seasons. Student-athletes achieved numerous accolades with Xiang’s assistance, earning 39 All-C-USA honors, 22 AVCA All-Region merits and 11 AVCA All-America kudos.
“Zheng is first and foremost a person of high integrity who lives out the values of our program and who will grow into our culture,” Johnson said. “He is a proven winner. He has recruited, developed and supported student-athletes to perform at the highest level and has demonstrated commitment to the process of building and sustaining a program’s success. I am thrilled to add my friend and colleague to the Spartan family.”
Click Here to Read the Full Original Article at Michigan State University Athletics…