Allie Matters has been named the eighth head coach in the history of the Redbird volleyball program.
Fans are invited to welcome Matters to Illinois State at a fan event on Monday, March 14 at the Aaron Leetch Legacy Club at Hancock Stadium. More details will be posted on goredbirds.com and the Redbird Volleyball social media accounts.
“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.”
Matters joins the Redbird volleyball program after four seasons as the head coach at Wright State University where she led the Raiders to two NCAA Tournament appearances, two Horizon League regular season titles and a Horizon League Tournament title.
In four seasons at the helm of the Raiders’ volleyball program, Matters compiled an impressive 79-30 (.725) overall record and a 48-15 (.761) record in conference play, leading WSU from the bottom of the Horizon League to consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances in 2019 and 2020-21.
“We could not be more excited to have Allie Matters leading our volleyball program at Illinois State,” ISU Director of Athletics Kyle Brennan said. “Redbird volleyball has a rich tradition of success and I know that Allie is capable of not only meeting the expectations in place but raising the standard even further for our volleyball program. A culture-focused leader who challenges everyone around her to be better, Allie will make a huge impact on the Redbird volleyball student-athletes, and we are excited to have her join the Redbird family.”
Matters is coming off an impressive fall 2021 season where she led the Raiders to a 23-8 record that included an eight-match and 22-set win streak from October 3–October 22 and upset wins over Michigan State and Dayton on the road.
“Allie had an impressive playing career, as well as tremendous success as an assistant and head coach,” said Senior Deputy Director of Athletics/SWA Leanna Bordner. “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.”
In April 2021, following the 2020 season that was postponed to the spring of 2021, Matters was named the AVCA Northeast Region Coach of the Year. After receiving the award, Matters went on to lead Wright State to its first—and the Horizon League’s first—NCAA win, sweeping Samford in three sets in the opening round before falling to eventual national runner-up Texas in the second round.
The spring 2021 Raiders were undefeated in Horizon League play, going 14-0 during the regular season with 11 three-set matches and their lone loss coming in five sets to crosstown foe Dayton, another 2021 NCAA Championship qualifier.
In 2019, Matters led the Raiders to a 24-4 regular season record, winning 20 or more matches for just the seventh time in the program’s Division I era, on the way to their first Horizon League regular season championship in program history and an at-large bid to the NCAA Championship—the first at-large NCAA Tournament bid in the history of the athletics department. Matters was named the 2019 Horizon League Coach of the Year and later earned recognition on VolleyballMag.com’s Under 40 Coaching Hotshots list in January 2020.
Prior to serving as the head coach at Wright State, Matters spent seven seasons as the top assistant at her alma mater, Seton Hall. While at Seton Hall, she helped coach the Pirates to their most successful season in program history in 2014, culminating with the program’s first ever berth in the NCAA Tournament. Matters and head coach Allison Yaeger were also named Big East Coaching Staff of the Year.
A Buffalo, N.Y. native, Matters played at Seton Hall from 2006-09, racking up numerous records and leading the Pirates to their first Big East Championship appearance in 15 years as a senior. A two-time All-Big East Second-Team selection, Matters recorded double-digit digs in the final 68 matches of her career with the Pirates—the nation’s longest active streak at the end of the 2009 season.
Prior to returning to Seton Hall as assistant coach, Matters was at Canisius for two seasons in the same role.