In her first year as volleyball coach at Coronado, Crissy Leonhardt had her team in the Class 4A state semifinals and was up 2-0 over eventual state champion Lewis-Palmer.
Next season Leonhardt will try to bring that instant level of success to her alma mater. She was hired as the volleyball at Manitou Springs High School, the same school she graduated from in 2008.
Athletic director Cameron Jones confirmed the hiring to CHSAANow.com on Tuesday.
Leonhardt spent time helping out the middle school volleyball program several years ago and now those players are at the high school level and contributing to the varsity program.
She also spent time as an assistant under Susan Odenbaugh at Lewis-Palmer and was on staff for two state championship teams for the Rangers.
She then took her first head coaching job at Coronado before getting the chance to return to Manitou.
"Definitely coming home and being an alumni was pretty huge," she said. "Also, the fact that I worked with several of those kids at the middle school when I coached there for two years and I already know them. I know how awesome they are as human beings, not just athletically and skill-wise."
The Mustangs finished 9-13 in 2019 but saw a lot of potential from their underclassmen. Freshman Avah Armour led the team with 169 kills while classmates Ayla Flett and Grace Allen also contributed on the attack.
They'll get veteran leadership back in Mahlia Glass and graduated just two seniors who played more than 50 sets throughout the season.
With the majority of the team returning, Leonhardt is looking to get the Mustangs back to the state tournament for the first time since 2015.
"She's going to bring a high level of competitiveness out of these girls and this team," Jones said. "She has shown that she can take girls to the next to the next level. I think Crissy will continue to grow our program."