There is always a transition period when a new coach takes the helm of a program, and with the ringing in of a new era for the Lady Panthers volleyball squad there is one coach who is happy to have found her home in purple and white.

Last spring, Van Alstyne administrators plucked LeQuia Collins from their neighbors to the south and named her the head of the volleyball program. Collins is a North Texas native and familiar with big school tradition and competition. She is a native of Mesquite was a tri-athlete student during her high school career. Collins went on to receive a full athletic scholarship to play volleyball at Grambling State University, and while there she received her Bachelor of Science in business management. She later went on to earn her masters degree from Texas A&M Commerce in secondary education and began teaching and coaching in 2008 at Mesquite Horn High School where she coached volleyball, basketball and track.

Last year Collins coached with Tomika Crosby and Grant Bergman at Anna High School.

"One reason I enjoy coaching at a high school level is being able to connect with my team at a much more advanced level of play," Collins said. "I enjoy being able to develop well-balanced student athletes, capable of leadership excellence in sports that in turn translates to strong values, unwavering character and productive citizenship."

She was an assistant in Anna, coaching junior varsity volleyball and basketball. This is her first opportunity as a high school head coach.

"As a new head coach I am expecting to set the precedent for future years to come," Collins said. "I am striving to develop a strong work ethic where the results take care of themselves. My hopes as a new coach in Van Alstyne are to meet the expected standards while also raising the Panther bar to new heights. To build a successful program it takes hours of quality practice, a shared goal, and selfless players that give maximum effort. Once everyone is on board the same ship, it will sail."

Collins was able to take part in spring league practices and games and has been involved in the summer strength and conditioning program. Now, a week into her first practices and the first scrimmage this weekend, she hopes to see the hard work and commitment lead to a special first season for her and her team that will set the bar for many seasons to come.

"I would just like to say a quick thank you to the community of Van AIstyne. I have received such a warm welcome from my coaching staff, school staff and athletic department," Collins said. "We would love to see your support this year. Go Panthers!"