Allie Matters Named Eighth Head Coach in Illinois State Volleyball History
Written by Mikey Fornelli on March 8, 2022
image courtesy of goredbirds.com
NORMAL, Ill — After months of searching, the Illinois State volleyball team has their new leader.
Tuesday morning, the school announced that Allie Matters had been named the eighth head coach in program history. Matters, who has spent the last four years at Wright State, already has had a successful career as she comes in to lead the Redbirds- and she has the hardware to show for it.
Matters flipped around the Wright State program in just four years, going from the bottom of the conference to the team to be worried about in the Horizon League. In all, her Raiders captured three total Horizon League titles and two consecutive NCAA tournament berths, including a first-round win in April 2021. All this and her impressive 48-15 in-conference total record while at Wright State led to multiple individual awards, as well. Matters was named the Horizon League Coach of the Year in 2019 and Spring 2021, and the Spring 2021 AVCA Northeast Region Coach of the Year following an in-conference undefeated season. Now taking over for a Redbird team that has seen similar success in recent seasons, Matters is looking forward to getting started.
“I am so grateful for this opportunity to lead the Illinois State volleyball team,” Matters said. “I want to thank President Terri Goss Kinzy, Director of Athletics Kyle Brennan, Senior Deputy Director of Athletics/SWA Leanna Bordner, and the entire senior staff for their passion and commitment to the volleyball program and women’s athletics. ISU Volleyball has been built on the shoulders of extraordinary women, and I am eager to get to work and continue its rich history and tradition of success. I am honored to be a Redbird.”
In Fall 2021, Matters led the Raiders to a 23-8 record that included wins over tough opponents Dayton and Michigan State. Joylynn Brown, Senior Associate Athletics Director/Senior Woman Administrator at Wright State, says the Redbirds should be excited about what Matters has accomplished and will continue to aim for.
“Allie’s dynamic personality and passion for volleyball bring energy to any space she is in,” Brown said. “Witnessing the complete turnaround this program has had since she joined us has been amazing. Illinois State is in great hands with Coach Matters.”
Before starting her coaching career at the same school, Matters played for Seton Hall from 2006-09. She was twice named to the All-Big East Second-Team, and appeared in the Big East Conference Championship her senior year. As the top assistant coach at Seton Hall, Matters led the Pirates to a NCAA Tournament berth in 2014- their first in program history. Illinois State Deputy Director of Athletics/Senior Woman Administrator Leanna Bordner says she looks forward to watching Matters build on previous Redbird success in her own unique way.
“Allie had an impressive playing career, as well as tremendous success as an assistant and head coach,” Bordner said. “It became even more impressive speaking to those who know her, as well as those who have worked closely with her. As we worked through our process, her ability to lead our Redbird Volleyball program became very clear hearing her vision, priorities, and the ability to develop talent all while focusing on and prioritizing a culture that lends itself to championships and positive student-athlete experiences. Her energy, enthusiasm, and drive will serve us well into the future of Redbird Volleyball.”
ISU Athletics is encouraging fans to visit the Aaron Leetch Legacy Club at Hancock Stadium on Monday, March 14 for a welcome event for Coach Matters. Time and more info will be posted in the coming days.