Johnson appoints Barreau and Becker to volleyball coaching staff

EAST LANSING, Mich. – Michigan State volleyball head coach Lea Johnson announced that Jake Barreau and Mike Becker have been added to the coaching staff as assistant coaches. Barreau will also act as the program’s recruitment coordinator. Both coaches join Johnson after serving on his coaching staff at Illinois State last season.

“I’m thrilled to add Jake and Mike to our program,” Johnson said. “We each have different strengths, which is essential for a well-rounded coaching staff. More importantly, we are family and share a belief that core values ​​and culture drive success. I am delighted that they join me as part of our Spartan Family and I’m ready to get to work.”

At Illinois State, Barreau worked primarily with Redbird Liberos and helped with the offensive game plan. Under Barreau’s guidance, Kaity Weimerskirch won the 2021 Missouri Valley Conference (MVC) Libero of the Year. In addition to his coaching roles, Barreau served as the program’s recruiting coordinator.

Prior to his lone season on ISU staff, Barreau spent three seasons in Oklahoma, where his recruiting efforts helped secure the No. 10 recruiting class in the nation in 2021 and the No. 8 recruiting class for 2022. Barreau’s training led Oklahoma’s defense to become one of the best units in the nation, holding opponents to a .177 hit percentage in 2019, while libero Keyton Kinley was named the Big 12 Libero of the Year in consecutive seasons (2018, 2019).

Prior to joining the Sooners, Barreau served as an assistant coach at Missouri State for four seasons. During Barreau’s tenure, the Bears racked up 98 wins, three NCAA tournament trips and the 2016 and 2017 MVC regular season title.

Barreau received the Thirty Under 30 award from the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) in 2016. As an undergraduate at Wisconsin, Barreau was a two-time Big Ten Men’s Volleyball Association Defensive Player of the Year. as a Libero with the Wisconsin Men’s Club. .

“There are no words for this moment,” Barreau said. “I’m honored and honoured. There are certain universities and programs that people grow up wanting to be part of…they bleed their school colors. Michigan State University is one of those places. Spartan Volleyball is a program steeped in tradition in the best conference in the country. I’m beyond thrilled to help grow this team with some of the best coaches I’ve ever worked with, Coach Johnson and Coach Becker. I’m grateful for this opportunity and ready to get to work.

Becker was Johnson’s longest-serving assistant at Illinois State, coaching the Redbirds’ team blocking and defense initiatives for three seasons. Under Becker’s tutelage, Illinois State finished No. 12 nationally in total team blocks in 2021 with 312. ISU finished 17th in blocks in 2020 and 25th in 2019, showing a steady improvement during Becker’s tenure with the Redbirds. Becker has been part of three of four consecutive ISU NCAA Tournament appearances from 2018-2021 and two regular-season conference titles in 2019 and 2020-21.

In 2021, Becker received the AVCA Thirty Under 30 award.

Prior to his time at Illinois State, Becker was director of volleyball operations at the University of Pittsburgh for three seasons. While Becker was on staff, Pitt appeared in three straight NCAA tournaments and won back-to-back ACC championships in 2017 and 2018.

Becker brings with him head coaching experience at the club level, having served as head coach of Pacific Coast Volleyball Club from 2014 to 2016 and Delta Valley Volleyball Club from 2013 to 2014.

As a student-athlete, Becker was a standout performer at Springfield College from 2009 to 2013, winning three NCAA Division III National Championships in 2010, 2012, and 2013, while finishing the 2011 season as a national finalist. At Springfield, Becker played under highly decorated USA and NCAA volleyball coach Charlie Sullivan.

“I’m very excited to be a part of this new chapter with Michigan State volleyball,” Becker said. “I want to thank Lea Johnson and the whole administration for the opportunity to be a Spartan. Michigan State Volleyball has what it takes to be a top program, and I can’t wait to get to work and make this community proud.”

Johnson’s staff also includes Shane Wilkinson, who joined the Michigan State volleyball program in the spring of 2021 and remains in his role as director of volleyball operations. Wilkinson recently completed his 16th season in the DOVO role after stops at Indiana, South Carolina, Ohio State and Ball State.