Ken Murczek is in his first year as a volunteer assistant coach at Purdue after a successful coaching and playing career which has taken him around the world.
Murczek, a Chicago, Ill., native started playing competitive volleyball in 1989 as a freshman at Marist High School. A two-year starter for the Second City Volleyball Club's 18-1 team, he earned AAU All-America honors in 1993 to go with his All-State honor from Marist. From Chicago, it was off to Lewis University in Romeoville, Ill., where he continued to pick up honors as the team's most improved player as a rookie. After two years at Lewis, Murczek transferred to San Diego State University where he played from August of 1996 to December of 1998, when he graduated with a bachelor's of science in kinesiology. During the 1998 season, the Aztec squad received votes in the national polls as Murczek ranked fifth in the nation in individual digs per game.
In January of 1999, Murczek moved to Tucson, Ariz., to begin work on his Master's degree in Teaching and Teacher Education. In addition to his studies, he played on the University of Arizona's club volleyball team, which won back-to-back national championships during his time as a Wildcat. After finishing his degree in May of 2000, Murczek went to Europe to play six-man professional indoor volleyball, beginning in Switzerland, and then playing for teams in Germany, France and Indonesia over the next four years.
Murczek began filling out his coaching resume during his playing days at San Deigo State, starting as a head coach for the 16-2 team at the Sun West Volleyball Club. He moved into the high school ranks as the head freshman girls' volleyball coach at West Hills High School, during his final semester at San Diego State in 1998. After making the move to Arizona, Murczek kept his foot in the coaching realm, acting as head coach for the Excel Volleyball Camps in New Mexico, Texas and Arizona. Between summers with Excel, he carried the sport of volleyball into Switzerland where he was head coach of the Gelterkinden Volleyball Club, which saw him teach youth basic volleyball skills in German.
In May of 2001, Murczek took his first collegiate coaching position as head coach at Cuyamaca College in Rancho San Diego, Calif. During his one season at Cuyamaca, the team experienced its winningest season and earned a bid to the conference tournament for the first time in school history. In May of 2002, Murczek left the sunshine of California for Rensselaer, Ind., where he landed the head coaching job at Saint Joseph's College. With Murczek at the helm, the Pumas doubled their conference win total from previous seasons and garnered their first Great Lakes Valley Conference tournament berth in three seasons, while two players received all-conference honors. In addition to coaching duties, he also implemented a year-round strength and conditioning program, fund raised and organized game-day promotions.
In May of 2003, Murczek returned from a professional playing stint in Germany to coach the Premier Volleyball Club's 15-1 team in Chicago. After the season, he headed back overseas to play in France and Indonesia, before landing in West Lafayette in August 2004. Once arriving at Purdue, Murczek picked up where he left off in coaching, signing on as a volunteer assistant coach for the Boilermakers. He is currently assisting with the team, while teaching seventh grade science at Wainwright Middle School.