North Texas Daily

Coaching volleyball a year-round task for Murczek

Coaching volleyball a year-round task for Murczek

November 27
23:29 2012

Tim Cato  / Staff Writer

The UNT volleyball season ended a week ago, but the work is far from over for the coaching staff led by head coach Ken Murczek. After all, coaching isn’t a part-time job that ends when the season does.

“He’s almost busier now, going out of town and such, rather than just staying here and practicing,” sophomore outside hitter Hanna Forst said.

The first item on Murczek’s agenda, recruiting high school players, involves plenty of travel. He will travel the country, attending club volleyball games and scouting players who have shown an interest in playing for the Mean Green. His assistant coaches, Sarah Rumely and Diego Castaneda, help with his workload, but Murczek still likes to play a big role in the process.

“All three of us are actively involved in the recruiting process. We all share the duties,” Rumely said. “Coach Murczek feels as if it’s important for the head coach to have his face on the program and go see the recruits.”

UNT has already made progress in that area, signing two-time all-state setter Amy Henard during the early signing period in mid-November to compete with sophomore setter Camille Cherry.

At the time of the signing, Murczek told meangreensports.com that the addition of Henard could help the team get to to the NCAA tournament. The team recently came up short after losing in the Sun Belt Conference finals to Western Kentucky University on Nov. 17.

“She’s going to come in and compete right away to play,” Murczek said. “She played on a top club team in the country and led her team to a two-league state championship, and was MVP of the whole thing.”

Murczek is looking for a replacement for senior setter May Allen, who led the team in assists in her final season for the Mean Green.

The rest of the players take advantage of a freer schedule to work on their schoolwork and study for finals.

“We can dedicate all of our time to school,” Forst said. “It’s really nice that the season ends right around finals.”

Their time off doesn’t last forever – after returning from winter break, the team begins strength and conditioning work that leads up to spring volleyball in March, when the team will play four exhibition matches.

With all the work Murczek has to put in to successfully recruit, breaks are few and far between for the head coach.

“I’m going to be on the road until Christmas break,” Murczek said. “I’ll go to the Final Four, and that pretty much stops it for us for two weeks. Over Christmas, I’ll be able to see family and turn it off. The phone’s always ringing, you know.”

There are no complaints about the heavy workload, however.

“This is what I signed up for,” he said. “I love it.”

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