A Final Sit Down With Amy Henard
Senior Plays Final Home Matches This Weekend
DENTON – Mean Green Sports had the opportunity to sit down with senior Amy Henard for a final time before she completes her home playing career this weekend with matches on Friday at 7 p.m. versus Marshall and Sunday at 1 p.m. versus LA Tech.
Q: What emotions will you have heading into this weekend?
Amy: I will have a lot of mixed emotions this weekend. I am excited for my future, but my time here coming to a close is upsetting because I have had a lot of great memories here. Being a student-athlete at North Texas gave me opportunities that many don’t have, so I am grateful for that.
Q: You mentioned making memories at North Texas. What memory stands out the most as you reflect back on your four years here?
Amy: I don’t know if there is one particular memory that stands out. Instead, I would say it is the relationships that I have built with my teammates and coaches. Those are what really stand out the most.
Q: You have been here for coach Palileo’s entire tenure. What impact has he had on you?
Amy: He has had a huge impact on me. I always say that he wants to be our dad because he always wants to give us advice on a variety of topics. We definitely have a great relationship because the relationship between a setter and a coach is special. I have a different relationship with him than many of the other athletes who will come through here will have with him.
Q: You have left your mark on the North Texas record books. What drove you to continue to get better year after year?
Amy: Honestly, it was just playing for my teammates and trying to get better every day. I never really strived for individual goals. Instead, I tried to make our team better by doing whatever I needed to do for us to reach our team goals.
Q: Over the weekend, you logged your 1,000th career dig. You now stand as the only player in program history to amass 3,500 assists and 1,000 digs. What does it mean to you to know that you are the first player to do that at North Texas?
Amy: It’s really cool, something that I can tell my grandkids one day. It’s a reflection of all the hard work that I have put in at North Texas. Being an athlete isn’t a walk through. I have been pushed to my limit several times and it just shows that all of the hard work and perseverance paid off.
Q: What will you miss most about North Texas? The city of Denton?
Amy: Because I am local (Weatherford native), I can come back whenever I want, but I will miss the people because everyone is so different. I also love to people watch, so I’ll just sit around campus and watch people. It is very interesting. Some days you’ll even see Spiderman crawling up the Union stairs.
As far as Denton, I’ll miss the Square. It is definitely a fun place to go and hang out at LSA or Beth Marie’s. I just like the environment and I’ll miss that.
Q: Your parents don’t miss many matches. What does it mean to see them in the stands
supporting you every time you take the court?
Amy: It means a lot to me to see them in the stands every match. My parents have definitely supported me through all my years of playing sports whether it was high school or now. I know the sacrifices that have made to be able to watch me play. They rarely missed any in my first three years, but they haven’t missed any for my senior year because they know it is the last time they will see me play.
Q: You not only excel on the court, but in the classroom as well. How has volleyball helped you prepare for your transition into your life post volleyball?
Amy: I’ve always had the mentality of academics being a top priority. I think volleyball has helped me with time management because being an athlete is not easy. Being able to achieve what I have academically on top of being an athlete is just a testament to remaining disciplined and having a good work ethic.
Q: Who has had the biggest impact on you off the court?
Amy: I would have to say my dad. Both my parents have had a huge impact on my life, but my dad and me are a lot alike, which was fine growing up, but we butted heads a little bit later on. We are very similar, so he has really guided me along the way. We don’t always agree on everything, but I know we can always help each other because I feel there is always ways to grow in life.
Q: This is the end of the road for you with the team, but it isn’t the end of the road for the program. What do you want to say to those who will come after you in order to continue to help the program grow?
Amy: The biggest thing is to always remember is that you are building a legacy for the people behind you and it’s not just about your time here. It is also about the athletes behind you who will try to make this program even more successful. Don’t get lost in this being about you; see the bigger picture and the long-term goals of the program.
Q: Looking back four years, what would you say to yourself before you stepped foot on the campus?
Amy: Don’t look too far ahead. Try to live in the moment as much as you can. I am really conscious of time, so I’ll start counting the time I have left. It goes by so fast, so you just need to live in the moment and enjoy each day.
Q: What is your plan after North Texas?
Amy: My plan is to go to PA (physicians assistant) school. I would love to get in my first year at UT Health Science Center in Fort Worth. That would be my ultimate goal. If that doesn’t happen my first year, I’ll try to get into a hospital and work a little bit to get hours and experience. I have some people trying to talk me into medical school as well, so if I don’t get in, we will see what I decide to do.