North Texas Daily

Palileo hired as new head volleyball coach

Palileo hired as new head volleyball coach

April 03
21:29 2013

Tim Cato / Senior Staff Writer

The wait for a new volleyball coach is over as UNT announced former Pac-12 Coach of the Year Andrew Palileo as the ninth head coach in program history.

Palileo, who has more than 25 years of experience coaching volleyball, arrives to a program that tied a school record with 26 wins and fell one win short of making it to the NCAA tournament under head coach Ken Murczek last season.

“It’s a great program that Ken has built up the last few years,” Palileo said. “I’m excited to come in here and take the program to its next step and build off of what he’s done. I think he’s built a pretty good culture here.”

Murczek coached the Mean Green the past three seasons but accepted a head coaching offer from Wake Forest University in February, allowing an opportunity for Palileo to take over.

“Our pool of candidates had some of the most impressive credentials of any coaching search we have had at North Texas,” Director of Athletics Rick Villarreal said in a press release. “Andrew [Palileo] rose to the top of that list with his success as a coach and his personal approach to teaching young people.”

Palileo’s most recent head coaching position was at Washington State, leading the Cougars to the NCAA tournament in 2009 for the first time in seven years. He received the Pac-12 Coach of the Year award the same year. Before his time there, Palileo spent seven years coaching South Dakota State University, accumulating a 154-86 record and being named the Summit League Coach of the Year in 2007.

After leaving Washington State in 2010, Palileo spent the past two years as an assistant coach at Ohio State University – an experience he said helped him greatly as a coach.

“I really saw the other side of coaching, the assistant side,” Palileo said. “I think it has made me a better head coach as far as managing people: players, coaching staff, administration, support staff.”

Palileo said that UNT’s impending move to Conference USA was a major factor in his decision to come here, since he is familiar with many of the C-USA programs, coaches and systems.

“Coach Ken was more ‘in your face,’” junior middle blocker Courtney Windham said. “I think [Palileo] is more like, ‘Here’s what we need to do and here’s how we’re going to do it.’ It’s more of a process.”

Palileo will get an opportunity to see his new team in action almost immediately, as the Mean Green travels to the University of Texas-Arlington to compete in the UTA College Tournament Saturday.

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