SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Former Liberty University All-American and WNBA standout Megan Leuzinger has been named the fifth head coach in the history of Evangel women's basketball.
"I would like to thank Dr. Dennis McDonald, Dr. Carol Taylor, Dr. Mike McCorcle, and Evangel University for this incredible opportunity to lead the women's basketball program," Leuzinger said.
"I believe that Evangel offers a truly unique opportunity for a prospective recruit who is interested in competing at a high level athletically, and receiving a quality education, all while being supported and pushed to grow spiritually. I am excited for the opportunity to use the game of basketball to make an impact on young women's lives both on the court and off the court."
Leuzinger will be introduced to the Evangel and Springfield community Monday, April 16, in an introductory press conference in Riggs Hall at 9 a.m.
She comes to Springfield after two seasons on the sidelines at Valparaiso University as an assistant coach. During her time with the Crusaders, they made the move to the Missouri Valley Conference where they upset Loyola-Chicago in the first round of the conference tournament in 2018.
"I am so excited to welcome Megan, Caleb, and their son Ezekiel to Springfield and the Evangel community," said director of athletics Dr. Dennis McDonald. "Megan has a heart for Christ and her student-athletes and that was seen through the interview process."
"Her experience and the relationships she has formed in basketball will be an integral part of what is going to make her a great coach both on and off the court and a great recruiter for the university. She is a highly intelligent young woman, which was highlighted by her academic honors at Liberty, and she will greatly influence Evangel women's basketball players to be successful in all areas of life."
Before entering the coaching ranks, Leuzinger enjoyed a professional career that started in the WNBA after earning All-America honors at Liberty. She was also a two-time CoSIDA Academic All-American, a three-time Big South First Team selection and was named Big South Player of the Year in 2008 and 2009. She still holds the Flames' Division I record for career scoring average (18.5 ppg) as well as the school record for career free throw percentage (80.5), single-season free throw percentage (.878), and ranks in the top five for points scored and rebounds.
Drafted by the San Antonio Silver Stars with the 14th pick of the 2009 WNBA Draft, she played two seasons in San Antonio. In conjunction with the WNBA offseason and beyond, Leuzinger played seven seasons in Europe with stops in Turkey, Poland, and Israel. She played in the Turkish All-Star Game in 2010 and 2011 and was the All-Star Game's Most Valuable Player in 2011.
"It goes without saying, but I would also like to thank my husband, Caleb Leuzinger, who has supported me during my time as a professional athlete, to my time now as a basketball coach," Leuzinger said. "I would not be where I am today without his love and encouragement, along with the love and support of both of our families."
In addition to her basketball career, she has been active in the volunteer community touring with Athletes in Action in Africa in 2008 and was inducted into the AIA's Hall of Faith in 2016. She has served as a counselor with New Chapel Baptist Church in Rustburg, Va. and has mentored inner-city residents of Lynchburg, Va.
Leuzinger received her bachelors of science degree in health and physical education from Liberty University in 2009. In 2011 she completed her master's degree in coaching and athletic administration from Concordia University in Irvine, California.
Born in Laredo, Texas, she graduated high school from Xenia Christian High School in Xenia, Ohio, where she was named the Ohio Division 4 Player of the Year.
She married her husband, Caleb, in May of 2015 and the couple has one son, Ezekiel.
What Others Are Saying About Megan Leuzinger:
"I am certainly excited for Megan to have the opportunity to reinvest in the lives of student-athletes who also have the love and interest in the great game of basketball. Megan has had a stellar playing career that will translate into invaluable knowledge to provide for the development of her team. The greatest attribute that Megan will provide is balance, as she will provide the leadership for spiritual, physical, mental and social development (Luke 2:52). Evangel University has hired a Champion for Christ!"
- Carey Green, Head Women's Basketball Coach at Liberty University
"Coach Leuzinger has a passion for basketball and a passion for assisting young women to develop to their full potential. Her experience competing successfully at the highest level of college basketball and competing professionally have provided her a strong foundation for teaching and leading basketball players. Her strong faith, easy manner, and commitment to others make her a strong leader."
- Mark LaBarbera, Director of Athletics at Valparaiso University
"Very excited for Evangel University and Megan Leuzinger, she is a great fit. Megan embodies the values of the University in her role as head basketball coach and will be able to develop an outstanding program."
- Dan Hughes, Head Coach of Seattle Storm (WNBA)
For the latest information on Evangel Athletics, follow the Crusaders on Facebook at Facebook.com/EvangelAtheltics or go to www.EvangelAthletics.com. Fans can also receive updates on their favorite team by downloading the Go Evangel Front Row App at EvangelAthletics.com/FrontRow available on Google Play and in the App Store.
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