North Texas Daily

Assistant volleyball coach makes impact with younger generation

Assistant volleyball coach makes impact with younger generation

Assistant volleyball coach makes impact with younger generation
October 28
13:40 2013

Ehsan Azad / Staff Writer

Assistant coaches are brought in by a head coach to help manage practices and games, but Mean Green volleyball assistant Susan Halverson is also helping the team thanks to her youth and personal touch.

In her second year of coaching and first as an official assistant, head coach Andrew Palileo brought Halverson to UNT due to a personal connection. After trying to recruit her as a player out of high school in 2006, their paths met again last year at Ohio State University when he was the team’s associate head coach and she was a volunteer coach.

“She communicates well and she gets along with players, which is something we needed on our staff from a female perspective,” Palileo said. “There are a lot of things she needs to learn, but she is willing to learn.”

The 25-year-old helps bridge the generational gap between the coaches and the players. Halverson played as a libero four years at Ohio State University and led the team to the Sweet Sixteen in the NCAA tournament as a captain her senior year.

“He expects me to bring the player perspective to the game because I am so fresh from playing myself,” she said. “[I get] to know the girls and [am] able to talk to them about the facets of the game.”

Halverson has already made an impact with the players in a way Palileo and associate head coach Al Givens cannot.

“Coach [Palileo] and coach [Givens] are like father figures, but then you have Susan who can actually relate to you,” junior outside hitter Hanna Forst said. “She keeps our minds engaged on how to be the best and how to get there. It’s nice to have another girl around.”

The players also talk a lot about her knowledge of the game.

“All of this is still fresh on her mind and she can help us over the edge defensively,” sophomore outside hitter Eboni Godfrey said.

Halverson’s connection with players of any age has her leading the Mean Green volleyball clinics this season, designed for younger players interested in volleyball and North Texas.

“[We] try to get to know the girls in the community, see their interests, what they want from volleyball and what we can do for them,” Halverson said.

The clinics are headed by Halverson while the players and other coaches help the younger girls as a way to help build interest for the school and the game of volleyball. They go as far as simulating game time experiences as the older players sit in the stands and cheer for the clinic players.

Palileo said Halverson has the ability to relate to anybody, whether it’s a coach, a college student or a young 10-year-old player. Palileo said that is why he chose her as the leader.

“We want the community to be a part of the team and the team to be a part of the community,” Halverson said. “We want this to grow.”

The next clinic will be held tonight at the Mean Green volleyball gym from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. It costs $10 and is open to all ages.

Assistant coach Susan Halverson. Feature photo courtesy of Rick Yeatts

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