Ariel Apolinario

Ariel  Apolinario

Assistant Coach

Alma Mater:
King University, 2010


Apolinario Named an AVCA Thirty Under 30 Award Winner

Recognizes top coaches in America under age of 30


Apolinario Added to Volleyball Coaching Staff

Spent past two seasons at Ohio University

Apolinario is in his second season (2017) at Rice after helping lead the Owls to 20 wins in 2016 and a trip to the C-USA Championship match. In his first season as an Owl, Apolinario helped oversee a squad that landed five players on the all-conference team.  

During his two years with the Bobcats, Apolinario assisted as defensive coordinator while also assisting in recruiting, scouting, in-season and out-of-season scheduling, and working specifically with setters and middles. Apolinario helped guide Ohio to a combined 48-14 record in his two seasons, which included a stellar 29-3 mark in the Mid-American Conference. In his tenure the Bobcats produced eight all-conference selections and 12 academic all-conference members.

This past season the Bobcats went 25-8 (13-3) and advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in school history before falling to BYU in the opening round.

In his first season with the Bobcats, Apolinario was a part of an Ohio team that went 23-6 overall and helped direct the program to its first 16-0 undefeated MAC season since 2006. The 2014 squad, who climbed as high as No. 24 in the nation in week 12, placed among the top 10 in seven program rally scoring era statistical categories.

Prior to his time in Athens, Apolinario served two seasons as an assistant coach at Austin Peay State University. In his two seasons at Austin Peay, Apolinario helped the Lady Govs to 30 overall wins and 19 conference victories. He also coached three players that earned All-Ohio Valley Conference honors.

As a competitor, Apolinario played two seasons at then-NAIA member Newman University before the program was dropped. He then transferred to Division II-member King University, where he was one of the founding members of the Tornado volleyball program. There, he was named the university’s 2009-10 Male Athlete of the Year and was a first-team All-Carolinas Conference selection.

In addition to his assistant roles, Apolinario served as a head coach in the Northeast Tennessee Volleyball Club system for three seasons. He taught volleyball skills during summer team camps throughout Florida, Tennessee and Texas.

A native of Matanzas, Cuba, Apolinario earned his degree from King University in 2010.



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