DENTON, Texas (1/19/10) - North Texas Director of Athletics Rick Villarreal has announced the hiring of Ken Murczek as the program's next volleyball coach.
The former Kansas and Virginia assistant becomes the eighth head coach in Mean Green history, and brings a successful resume as a coach and player at both the collegiate and professional levels.
"Ken is a coach that is well versed in his sport, has an excellent track record in recruiting and great recommendations from not only the coaches that he worked with, but also those he coached against," said Villarreal. "His energy, preparation and his connections to the Texas volleyball recruiting process make him a great fit."
Murczek spent the last two seasons at Kansas, and despite playing 10 teams that advanced to the NCAA Tournament in 2009, the Jayhawks enjoyed their winningest campaign since 2004 (16-14), and even knocked off No. 21 Baylor. Their two-match sweep of in-state rival Kansas State was the program's first since 1993.
A coach with academics at heart, Murczek had two players named to the ESPN the Magazine Academic All-District squad and a league-best eight Academic All-Big XII honorees in 2009 alone.
"First and foremost, I'd like to thank Rick Villarreal for the opportunity to lead this team," said Murczek. I'm excited about the future of this program, and I'm eager to get to campus to get to know the student-athletes and to put our plans for the spring in place."
Prior to his arrival at Kansas, Murczek spent two years at Virginia where he helped the Cavaliers pile up 18 wins and a fourth place finish in the ACC. On top of his administrative and recruiting duties, he was responsible for training the outside hitters, and helped develop Sarah Kirkwood into a two-time AVCA All-American - a first in Virginia volleyball history.
Murczek also spent time at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo., where he assisted with skill development and on-court training of the United States Women's National Volleyball Team.
From 2005-06, Murczek served as an assistant at Western Michigan, and was a volunteer assistant at Purdue in 2004. Over the two-year span at Western Michigan, Murczek helped guide six all-conference players and aided in the Broncos receiving the highest honorable mention award for the 2006 recruiting class according to prepvolleyball.com. In addition, Murczek was integral in the development of senior setter Jenifer Sulewski, who broke the school record for single-season assists.
In his stint at Purdue, he helped the Boilermakers to their first NCAA Tournament berth since 1990 and first-round upset over nationally-ranked host Colorado State.
A successful player at all levels, Murczek began his volleyball career at Marist High School in Chicago where he became an all-state selection in 1993. Murczek played collegiately at San Diego State, where he led his team to a top 15 ranking, and finished fifth in the country in digs per game. He then went on to the University of Arizona where his club volleyball team won back-to-back national championships.
After college, Murczek played four seasons of professional indoor volleyball in Gelterkinden, Switzerland; Biendenkopf, Germany; Niort, France and Bandung, Indonesia. He has also competed in several beach volleyball tournaments during the summer months throughout the United States.
Murczek earned his B.S. in kinesiology from San Diego State University in 1998 before going on to earn a master's in teaching and teacher education from the University of Arizona in 2000. Murczek also holds a secondary education teaching credential in physical education and science from the state of Indiana, and an M.S. in sport management from Western Michigan University (2007). Murczek and his wife, Jennifer, married in August 2007.