DENTON, Texas - North Texas head volleyball coach Ken Murczek has announced the additions of Baylor director of operations Diego Castaneda, and former two-time Kentucky All-American Sarah Rumely as the program's new assistant coaches.
Castaneda and Rumely bring a wealth of volleyball experience to the table as both coaches and players, and have combined to participate in 10 NCAA Tournament matches. Castaneda has spent the past six seasons rising through the ranks at Baylor, while Rumely, the 2009 SEC Player of the Year, is currently playing professionally in France's top division.
"I'm ecstatic to have two new coaches with so much enthusiasm and experience with the game of volleyball joining us for the upcoming year," Murczek said. "We obviously got a great thing started last year with the Sun Belt West Division title and winning 20 matches, and these two coaches will just add to the family atmosphere we have in place and help take us to even greater heights."
- Diego Castaneda -
A native of Bogota, Columbia, Castaneda was responsible for Baylor's team statistics, facilities preparation and many other facets of the program's day-to-day operations. He served two seasons as the program's graduate assistant coach, helping the Bears advance to the NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 in 2009.
"I've known Diego for several years, and from a loyalty factor I couldn't ask for a better person to work with," Murczek said. "His expertise behind the scenes at Baylor make him a perfect fit here at North Texas, and I can't wait to watch him blossom as a coach."
Deeply rooted in the Texas club volleyball scene, Castaneda was the head coach of the Waco Ultimate Volleyball Academy. He has experience officiating and coaching at the club level statewide, and has helped run several camps in both Waco and Houston. He was also the head coach for the men's club volleyball team, leading the Bears to a fifth place finish at the national tournament.
"I am very excited about joining the staff at the University of North Texas," Castaneda said. "I want to thank coach Murczek for the opportunity, and I am looking forward to the challenges ahead and taking North Texas volleyball to new heights."
Castaneda earned his bachelor's degree in international business from Baylor in 2008, and graduated with his masters of sports management in December of 2010. As an undergraduate, he served three seasons as the Bears' team manager.
- Sarah Rumely -
One of the nation's premier setters while at Kentucky, Rumely owns the Wildcats' career assists (5,703) and aces (165) records, and was a two-time AVCA All-American, as well as a two-time All-SEC First-Team honoree. She also ranks among the top 10 in Kentucky history in career blocks, digs, attack percentage and sets played.
"Sarah's experience of playing in the NCAA all four years in college brings a different dimension to the table," Murczek said. "That's obviously where we are trying to take this program. I've played overseas just like she has, and it helps you see the game a little differently. I'm very excited about the perspectives she will bring to our program."
An asset in the classroom as well, Rumely earned ESPN The Magazine/CoSIDA Academic All-America honors in 2009, and was a three-time Academic All-SEC selection. She graduated with her degree in exercise science in 2010.
"I am thrilled and honored to join the Mean Green Volleyball Family," Rumely said. "I am looking forward to learning from Ken and working with Diego, and I am excited to build on the success of last year and help this team reach another level."
The New Palestine, Ind., native was one of the most sought after recruits in the nation after PrepVolleyball.com named her of the top 100 players in the nation as the valedictorian at Scecina Memorial High School.
She has worked with Thoroughbred Elite Volleyball Alliance in Lexington, Ky., for three years and has played for Nantes Volley Feminin in France's top division since last August.