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New head coach Andrew Palileo and senior outside hitter Courtney Windham preview the upcoming season.
Head coach Andrew Palileo (paw-leh-lay-oh) continues to develop what has been a young and exciting North Texas volleyball team.
His fourth year was a down year (13-19), but three members of the Mean Green were recognized as all-conference players in 2016. Juniors Amanda Chamberlain and Holly Milam garnered First-Team All-Conference USA honors, while Emma Eakin was named to C-USA's All-Freshman Team. Chamberlain went on to be selected All-Southwest Region Honorable Mention, the second-straight season a player has made all-region under Palileo.
Palileo's third year was another one of success as the Mean Green recorded its second 20-win season in three years under the Hawaii native. Senior Carnae Dillard was a showcase of the 2015-16 season, and under Palileo's leadership she repeated as Conference USA Player of the Year before becoming only the second honorable mention All-American selection in team history. North Texas advanced to the semifinal round of the C-USA Tournament behind a .241 hitting percentage that was the second-best mark in school history. Also joining Dillard with all-conference honors was Holly Milam, who earned a spot on the All-C-USA second team.
In his second year at the helm, Palileo guided the Mean Green to one of the best seasons in school history. Led by eventual Conference USA Player of the Year Carnae Dillard, Palileo & Co. racked up a 21-9 record entering the postseason, the second-best regular season win total in North Texas history. With momentum on its side and riding a program-best 10-match win streak, North Texas would make it to the C-USA semifinal round before falling to eventual conference champion WKU. The team's individual talent was recognized as Dillard took all-conference first team honors, senior Hanna Forst was named to the second team, and Amanda Chamberlain was placed on the conference's all-freshman squad.
In his first year at North Texas, Palileo guided the Mean Green through its initial year in C-USA and accumulated a 17-15 record that came within a few points of the conference's semifinal round. Two players, sophomore Carnae Dillard and senior Karissa Flack, were named to the C-USA all-conference team while setter Amy Henard was named to the all-freshman squad.
Palileo arrived in Denton from Ohio State where he was an assistant coach for two years bringing an extensive resume of experience at the Big-10 and Pac-12 levels to the Mean Green. His most recent head coaching position was at Washington State from 2008-2010. While in Pullman, Wash., Palileo took the Cougars to the NCAA tournament in 2009, their first trip in seven years. He also received the Pac-12 Coach of the Year award that same season.
Before heading to Washington State, Palileo was head coach for seven years at South Dakota State where he gathered 154 wins and 86 losses. He was named the 2007 Summit League Coach of the Year, when the South Dakota State Jacks were the Summit League regular season and tournament champions and made the first trip in school history to the NCAA Championship Tournament that fall. Palileo's crew broke or tied 23 team or individual records during 2007.
Prior to South Dakota State, Palileo was the head volleyball coach at Bethel University (St. Paul, Minn.), where he had an 85-53 record in four seasons, the best four-year mark in school history. While at Bethel, he produced eight first-team All-Conference players, a first-team All-American and two academic All-Americans.
Palileo also coached the Club SoDa 18s volleyball team in Brookings, S.D., from 2002-2008, and was the Heartland Adidas Select Volleyball Program 18s head coach for five years in Minneapolis, Minn. He served as the director of the Crosstown Junior Olympics at Edina High (Minn.) from 1993-97, and he was the JV coach at Waconia (Minn.) High from 1986-90. A highly-regarded clinician, Palileo has also been the head coach of the Midwest Volleyball Instructor Elite Camps since 1997.
A graduate of Crown College (St. Bonifacius, Minn.), Palileo received his bachelor of arts degree in missiology in 1991 and a bachelor of arts degree in social science/secondary education in 1995. He went on to earn a masters degree in educational leadership from Bethel University (St. Paul, Minn.) in 2000.
Palileo and his wife, Wendy, have three sons, Ashton, Austin and A.J., and one daughter, Alyvia.