DENTON, Texas – University of North Texas Director of Athletics Rick Villarreal has announced the hiring of former Pac-12 Coach of the Year Andrew Palileo as the new Mean Green volleyball head coach.
“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. “Andrew rose to the top of that list with his success as a coach and his personal approach to teaching young people. I know that he is the perfect person to build on the success that the Mean Green volleyball program has begun to achieve.”
Palileo (paw-leh-lay-oh) arrives 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.
“I want to thank Rick and Mike for this opportunity here at North Texas,” Palileo said. “During my visit to campus, I met some great people involved in the athletic department and appreciated everyone’s transparency. Speaking with Rick and hearing his vision for the athletic department makes it an exciting time to be a part of North Texas athletics.”
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 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.
“Coach Murczek did a great job of building the program and now it’s time to build on that success as we make the transition to Conference USA,” Palileo said. “I can’t wait to get into the gym and begin the process of developing young people into champions on and off the court.”
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.