Two national championships in the same season. A 40-0 record in Park University’s 2014 women’s volleyball national championship run, and 70 victories overall during the 2014 season earned Park volleyball coach Mike Talamantes the Burns and McDonnell Coach of the Year award from the 2015 Kansas City Sports Commission.
How was Talamantes able to pull off the feat? He coaches both the men’s and women’s programs.
Talamantes started the 2014 season with a 30-4 men’s record highlighted by two national-tournament wins over tournament favorite Concordia-Irvine. The Pirates were 8-0 in the NAIA South Division, earning a spot in the NAIA National Invitational in Denver with an outright conference championship, and the team won 12-straight matches, including two in late April over No. 1 Concordia in Denver to take the Pirates’ first of two volleyball championships in 2014.
Park’s second title came after the women’s program completed a perfect 40-0 season, win 120 sets in 126 tries. The Pirates were outright conference champions in the American Midwest Conference for women’s volleyball. In the championship match, Park won over the University of Texas at Brownsville, in three sets.
Now in its third year, the honor has previously been awarded to two collegiate head football coaches – Kansas State University’s Bill Snyder at the 2013 banquet, and Northwest Missouri State University’s Adam Dorrel in 2014. Talamantes beat out 2015 finalists, Royals manager Ned Yost, UMKC volleyball coach Christy Posey, Central Missouri and current Mizzou head men’s basketball coach Kim Anderson, and Jim Aziere, who coaches swimming at Raytown High School and Raytown South High School.
“2014 was an incredible ride personally and professionally, but I am just one reason why both teams were able to take home National Championships,” Talamantes told ParkAthletics.com. “I also want to thank all of the players who were instrumental in leading us throughout the year and thank them for letting me be a part of it.”
Talamantes had enough All-America awards between his teams to fill a lineup sheet, including Rob Cordero and Daniel Arteaga on the men’s side, and Wendy Romero,Juliana Barros and Wanessa Siqueira from the women’s program. Siqueira earned two All-America designations, earning one of the NAIA/AVCA All-America positions, as well as the most prestigious award to combine academics and athletics, the 2014 Capital One Women’s Volleyball Academic All-American of the Year, an award given by the College Sports Information Directors of America.
His teams also had two national championship MVPs, including Wendy Romero from the women’s championship and Rob Cordero.
In addition to Talamantes’ award, Royals GM Dayton Moore was named executive of the year…no surprise there…getting the Royals to the World Series. Mizzou defensive end Shane Ray was named the Sportsman of the Year.
The Kansas City Sports Commission banquet is on April 15, at the Muehlbach Tower in Kansas City.
Park University has campuses in Parkville, Mo., Kansas City, Mo., and Independence, Mo.