MSU volleyball hires Zheng Xiang as assistant coach


MSU Volleyball huddles up/ Photo Credit: Sarah Smith

Faith Flickinger, Volleyball Beat Reporter

EAST LANSING – The Michigan State volleyball team has hired Zheng Xiang as an assistant coach after it was officially announced on Tuesday. 

Xiang comes to MSU from Rice where he worked as associate head coach, defensive coordinator and recruiting coordinator. Xiang has also worked at Texas A&M as a volunteer assistant coach, and an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at Texas at San Antonio. 

“I am honored and excited to be joining the Spartan family,” Xiang said in a press release. “I can’t wait to meet the team, our alumni and the Spartan fans.”

At Rice, he played a large role in their program. The Owls finished the season ranked No. 19 in 2022 in the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) poll with a 27-4 record and a second-round appearance in the NCAA Tournament. Rice went to the second round of the NCAA Tournament in 2019 and 2021. 

Under Xiang, the Owls also went on to win one C-USA regular season title (2018), two C-USA West Division titles (2020, 2021) and two C-USA tournament titles (2018, 2022).

As a recruiter at Rice, Xiang constructed four recruiting classes in the Top 55 and one in the Top 50, as ranked by PrepVolleyball. 

Xiang has not only coaching but playing experience as well. He was a member of Indiana’s club team from 1997-2000 and was captain of the squad in his final season. Xiang played for two years at Texas and earned first-team All-Southern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association honors in 2006. 

“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,” said head coach Leah Johnson. “I am thrilled to add my friend and colleague to the Spartan family.”