Just six months ago, the SDSU volleyball team was celebrating one of their best years ever. Three of the greatest players ever to play at State – seniors Kristina Martin, Amy Anderson and Sam Pearson – were celebrated in individual recognition. The Jacks won the first ever Summit League title and secured the school’s first ever berth in the NCAA Division I tournament. Twenty-three team or individual records were tied or broken during the historic chase for SDSU’s first NCAA D-I title. SDSU had arguably one of the best young head coaches in the region in Andrew Palileo and one of the biggest upcoming stars in Phil McDaniel as assistant.
Today, much of this nucleus is no longer with the team, including head coach Palielo. Palielo has decided to take the head coaching job at Washington State University, announced his decision on April 15.
Among his assistants coming with him to Pullman, Wash., is former University of South Dakota head coach Brian Lamppa.
A graduate of Crown College in Minnesota, Palileo coached the Jacks to a record of 154-67 in seven years, including landing in the NCAA Division II title match in 2001.
He was named the American Volleyball Coaches Association Div. II North Central Region Coach of the Year in 2001, and he also coached the 2001 AVCA Div. II National Player of the Year, Shauna Sturm, at SDSU.
While he coached, the Jackrabbits also achieved success in the classroom. For three straight years, from 2004 to 2006, the team earned the American Volleyball Coaches Association’s team academic honors.
According the Washington State athletic Web site, WSU Director of Athletics Jim Sterk said, “I am confident that Andrew will make every effort to provide our Cougar women with the best student-athlete experience in the country.”
SDSU currently has no assistant head coach, due to McDaniel’s decision to go to Drake University for the head job with the Bulldogs.
The search for a new coach along with new assistants will begin immediately, according to SDSU sports information.
Washinton State beat SDSU early in the 2007 season, 3-0 at the Baden Cougar Challenge Tournament on Aug. 25 in Pullman, Wash.