Andrew Palileo (paw-leh-lay-oh) wasted little time moving the Washington State volleyball program back into the national spotlight. In just the second season under Palileo's mentoring, the Cougar volleyball team returned to the NCAA Championship Tournament after a six-year hiatus, and Palileo was honored as the Pacific-10 Conference Coach of the Year.
Appointed WSU's head coach in April of 2008, Palileo inherited a program that hadn't won more than three conference matches in a year for four consecutive seasons. The Hawaii native and his coaching staff of Associate Head Coach Brian Lamppa and Assistant Coach TeAna Tramel, hit the recruiting trail. The proof of their travels was a taller and more athletic group of players wearing crimson and gray on the court in 2009, an overall record of 18-13, and a trip to the NCAA tournament. WSU's 13 losses in 2009 came to 12 top-20 ranked teams and only one unranked team. The Cougars also defeated four top 20-ranked teams during the season.
No stranger to success, Palileo arrived at WSU after an outstanding seven-year head coaching career at South Dakota State where he led the Jackrabbits through a successful transition from NCAA Division II to Division I. He accumulated 154 wins and 86 losses in the seven years at South Dakota State and has a career record of 239-139.
The 2007 season was a special one for South Dakota State and Palileo. The Jacks won the Summit League regular season title for the first time, won the conference tournament volleyball championship for the first time, and made an historic first trip to the NCAA Championship Tournament. Palileo was named the 2007 Summit League Coach of the Year and the squad broke or tied 23 team or individual records during its historic 2007 season.
As NCAA Div. I independent members in 2004-2006, the Jackrabbits captured second place in the All-Independent Tournament Championships in both 2005 and 2006, with three players selected to the All-Independent Team in 2005, and four selected in 2006. During the 2004 season an SDSU player was selected to the All-Independent first team and another was named Freshman of the Year. His South Dakota State teams have earned American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) team academic honors in 2004, 2005 and 2006.
Under Palileo's direction, the South Dakota State volleyball team reached the NCAA Div. II Regional Final match in 2002, and was the national championship runner-up in 2001 with the national player of the year. The 2002 team had two AVCA All-Americans, two Daktronics All-Americans, the Daktronics Libero of the Year, three All-North Central Conference first team players, the NCC Defensive Player of the Year, and the NCC Freshman of the Year. The 2001 team had an AVCA All-American setter and the NCC Defensive Player of the Year.
Palileo coached volleyball at Bethel University (St. Paul, Minn.) from 1997-2000, where he had an 85-53 record in four seasons, the best four-year record in school history. His team was the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) 1999 Tournament Champions and played in the NCAA Div. III Championship Tournament. He was named the NCAA Div. II North Central Region Coach of the Year in 2001, and the 1999 NCAA Div. III MIAC Coach of the Year. He coached the 1999 MIAC player of the year. While at Bethel, he produced eight first-team all-conference players, a first-team All-American and two academic All-Americans.
In addition to collegiate volleyball coaching, Palileo has 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 was the head 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. He is the president of the Board of Directors of the North County Region USA Volleyball organization.
Originally from Hawai'i, Palileio is 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 (18), Austin (16), and A.J. (10), and one daughter, Alyvia (14).