Palileo Named C-USA Coach of the Year, Teakell Earns Co-Freshman of the Year Honors
School's First Coach Of The Year Since 1995
IRVING - Accolades continued to pour in for the North Texas volleyball team as head coach Andrew Palileo received the Conference USA Coach of the Year award and outside hitter Barbara Teakell was named the C-USA Co-Freshman of the Year, as announced Thursday by the conference office.
In his fifth year at the helm, Palileo led the Mean Green to numerous program milestones including best record (26-2), best conference record (13-1), longest win streak (14), best start to a season (12-1) and first appearance in the AVCA Coaches Poll. He orchestrated the largest turnaround in school history from a 13-19 record in 2016 to a 26-2 mark in 2017 and the team has risen 139 spots from the final RPI ranking of 2016, tied with Central Arkansas for the biggest jump in NCAA. Palileo's squad placed a school-record five players on the 2017 All-C-USA teams, including three first-team members, another program-record.
"It's been a great year for this program and this award is a reflection of all the hard work that the players and staff have put in during the season," Palileo said.
The Honolulu, Hawaii, native adds another to his trophy case, having been named coach of the year in each of his head coaching stops after being recognized as the 2009 Pac-12 Coach of the Year at Washington State, the 2007 Summit League Coach of the Year at South Dakota State and the 1999 Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Coach of the Year at Bethel University. In 2001, Palileo was named the AVCA Division II North Central Region Coach of the Year in his first year at South Dakota State.
Teakell joins an elite group of North Texas volleyball players to be named conference freshman of the year: Corina Marginas and Carnae Dillard. The first to earn the honor from C-USA, Teakell ranks fifth in attack percentage (.271), sixth in kills (231) and eighth in attacks (591) among Mean Green freshman in the rally era (since 2001). The Celina, Texas, native is second on the team in kills per set (2.72). On Wednesday, Teakell became the third Mean Green freshman in the last four years to be named to the all-freshman team.
“I feel very blessed,” Teakell said. “At the beginning of the season, I definitely wasn’t expecting to get any big awards. I knew I was going to work my hardest and do whatever it takes to be the best for my team. I didn’t come in with a mindset of doing anything for me, so winning the award is an added bonus.”
Palileo, Teakell and the rest of the North Texas volleyball team begin their quest for the second conference tournament title in school history against Marshall at 5 p.m. Friday at Diddle Arena in Bowling Green, Ky. With advancement, the Mean Green would face the winner of No. 4 UT San Antonio and No. 5 Florida Atlantic at 4 p.m. Saturday.