By Anvil Welch
Globe Sports Writer
Joplin High School graduate Leah Ingram has been named head volleyball coach at Diamond High School.
“I was a longshot,” Ingram said Monday. “But I got the job. I really feel good about it.
“I’m very excited and grateful about the opportunity,” Ingram said. “For me, there will be several new faces.
“Coach (Justin) Brown will be my assistant and he’s been the assistant (at Diamond) for a few years,” Ingram said. “Coach Brown knows the girls and will be a big, big asset. Definitely, I’ll be leaning on him a lot for help.”
Ingram is completing her first year at Diamond High School and assisted Brian Brimacombe in girls basketball in 2011-12.
“I’m looking forward to a great season (in the fall),” Ingram said. “We should have several key players returning.”
Ingram, a 1989 graduate of Joplin, played volleyball for Joyce Woods and basketball for Sandy Shelley with the Eagles. She attended Crowder for a year — playing basketball and softball — before transferring to Missouri Southern and concentrating on softball.
Ingram started two years for Pat Lipira’s Lions in right field, including the championship year of 1992, before eventually graduating with a degree in criminal justice.
“I missed coaching and teaching, though, and I switched majors,” Ingram said. “I enjoy being involved with and working with children.”
She finally secured her education requirements from Southern and the second degree and was hired by Diamond.
Ingram’s coaching experience includes four years at Jasper and one at Joplin. She also has been officiating volleyball.
Diamond’s success last fall included an overall record of 24-5-2 and just one loss in the Spring River Valley Conference. But Pierce City, which spoiled the Wildcats’ SRVC effort, also denied the Wildcats on their floor in the championship match of the Class 2 District 11 Tournament.
Leah, who lost her dad Robert to sickness some four years ago, and mom Billie live in Duenweg.