MUNCIE, Ind. - - After serving as a volunteer coach for the Ball State men’s volleyball program for the past seven seasons, Jim Palilonis has been named an assistant coach for the Cardinals as announced by head coach Joel Walton.
Overall, Palilonis has spent eight seasons on the Ball State men’s volleyball bench, serving as a volunteer assistant for the Cardinals during the 2002 season and again from 2007-2013. Palilonis was also a volunteer assistant for the Ball State women’s volleyball program for the 2010 and 2011 seasons.
“Jim has been a valuable member of our staff over the years and we are very excited to have him aboard in a full-time capacity,” Walton said. “Jim’s main role for our program has been working with our offense and setters, who have shown big improvements over their careers. A former club and high school coach in Chicago, Jim has also proven to be a very effective recruiter for us in one of the nation’s hotbeds for men’s volleyball.”
In his first season with the Ball State men’s volleyball program, Palilonis helped the 2002 Cardinals post a 23-8 overall record and reach the NCAA Championships for the 15th time in program history. He also helped the Cardinals put together 20-win seasons in 2008 (21-10) and 2013 (21-6).
In his two seasons on the Ball State women’s volleyball bench, Palilonis helped the Cardinals claim the 2010 Mid-American Conference regular season title and earn an at-large bid into the 2011 NCAA Women’s Volleyball Tournament.
“Ball State volleyball has been a large part of my life over the years, and I am very excited for this opportunity to continue working with the men’s program,” Palilonis said. “Ball State has a great tradition of success in volleyball and I look forward to helping the program continue to achieve at a high level.”
A 1996 graduate of Ball State University with a degree in secondary education, Palilonis was the head girls volleyball coach at Winchester High School from 2004-05 while serving as an alternative school teacher at the Greater Randolph Country Interlocal Cooperative. He also served as an assistant head coach for the program in 2002.
Palilonis also had coaching stints with the Munciana Volleyball Club and Muncie Southside High School while teaching locally.
While teaching and serving as the social studies department chair at Stevenson Elementary School in Chicago, Palilonis coached club, middle school and high school volleyball for both boys and girls. Teams he coached include the St. Rita Catholic High School boys varsity, the Stevenson Elementary School sixth-eighth grade girls, the 2nd City Volleyball Club boys and the Maria Catholic High School girls varsity.
Palilonis and his wife Jennifer, a George & Frances Ball Distinguished Professor of Multimedia for the Ball State University Department of Journalism, have twin boys, Gage and Quinn (8).