Volleyball Introduces Carrie Gurnell As Assistant Coach
Former Purdue Star To Replace Carnae Dillard On Staff
DENTON - Former Purdue outside hitter Carrie Gurnell was added to the North Texas volleyball coaching staff, head coach Andrew Palileo announced Wednesday. She comes to Denton from Gardner-Webb University, where she spent two years in the same role.
“I’m excited for Carrie to join our volleyball family,” Palileo said. “She stood out during the search process and did a great job of articulating how she can contribute to our continued success.”
Gurnell starred for Purdue from 2006 to 2009, totaling more than 1,000 kills as an outside hitter for the Boilermakers while earning a spot on four all-tournament teams during her senior season. The four-year starter appeared in 127 matches at Purdue and posted at least 10 kills in 50 contests, including 24 as a senior.
“She has played at a high level, so she understands the commitment and work ethic needed to sustain the level of success we expect here at North Texas,” Palileo said. “She will be a great mentor for our players as we work toward building champions and preparing leaders.”
A native of Katy, Texas, Gurnell was a two-time all-state honoree at Cinco Ranch High School and was ranked the No. 11 recruit in the nation by prepvolleyball.com prior to her commitment to Purdue. She was also listed amongst Volleyball Magazine’s Fab 50 players.
“I’m excited to get back to Texas in general and to be at a university that’s growing,” Gurnell said. “The biggest thing I’ve noticed is the growth and the excitement people have about the athletics program, especially with the volleyball team.”
Following her collegiate career, Gurnell played three professional seasons for Volleyball Club Tirol in Innsbruck, Austria, as a middle blocker. During her stint with VC Tirol, Gurnell helped the team to back-to-back second-place finishes in the Bundesliga Damen regular season standings.
Gurnell brings a wealth of coaching experience at the camp and club level, including eight years in the junior club circuit and two years coaching children in the Austrian public school system during her time with VC Tirol. She has participated, trained and coached in the USA Volleyball system, including stints as a player in both the USA A-2 Youth and the Junior National teams.
North Texas is coming off a historic season, finishing with a 29-4 record and the first regular season conference title in program history. The 2017 team finished with the best attack percentage (.293), third-most block assists (398), fourth-most assists (1,671), fifth-most kills (1,801) and fifth-most total blocks (267.0) in school history.