At the girls’ athletic training period on April 17, Van Alstyne volleyball coach LeQuia Collins informed her players that she would not be returning for the 2017 season.

“My leaving was a tough decision to make for me because of my kids and the community support we had here at Van Alstyne,” Collins said.

She will become the head volleyball coach at Garland Lakeview Centennial, a 6-A school.

Collins, who’s three year tenure at Van Alstyne was her first head coaching experience, compiled a 74-54 record with the Lady Panthers. Her teams made the playoffs in each of her three seasons at the helm.

Her teams reached the regional semifinals in both 2015 and 2016.

The Lady Panthers lost to Peaster in 2016 and to Glen Rose to close out its 2015 season.

Last year, after graduation losses and early season injuries had set the team back, they were beaten in the bi-district round by Ponder. The Lady Panthers finished the season, 17-16.

Those regional berths were the first for Van Alstyne volleyball since the 1996 and 97 seasons.

In 1997 the Lady Panthers lost in the state semifinals to Jarrell after losing to Arp in the 1996 regional semifinals.

“I’m so thankful for the opportunity I was given here for my first head coaching position,” Collins said. “I am truly going to miss this place and it will forever hold a valuable place in my heart.”

The search to replace Collins and continue her legacy has started.