Courtesy: Southern California Indoor Volleyball Hall of Fame
The Southern California Indoor Volleyball Hall of Fame (SCIVBHOF) has announced its final group of 27 nominees for 15 induction spots for the May 5, 2019 third annual event at the Highway 39 Event Center in Anaheim. The 27 finalists consist of players and coaches that range from the 1940s to the 2000s.
Numerous finalists have already been inducted into the International Volleyball Hall of Fame and others have been inducted into the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Hall of Fame. Almost all nominees have won NCAA, AIAW or USVBA National Championships and over two-thirds have competed or coached in at least one Olympic Games.
Of the 27 selected, the leading colleges for the finalists are UCLA with eight having either played or coached there and USC in second with six having either played or coached there. Stanford, San Diego State, Long Beach State and Pepperdine have 3 that have either played or coached there.
“The SCIVBHOF committee had the unique job of reviewing nearly 100 nominees to reach the 27 finalists and I know it be a challenging process to reach the 15 hall of fame inductees,” said Michael Sondheimer, SCIVBHOF Executive Director. “Anyone associated with USA and Southern California indoor volleyball should be proud of the first two years of accomplishments for the SCIVBHOF in recognizing
the legends of the sport and in efforts to grow the future of the indoor sport through making non-profit youth volleyball donations.”
The SCIVBHOF is located at American Sports Centers in Anaheim and is a free display open to the public in the Sidelines Café. The website has all of the inductees for the first two years at www.socalindoorvolleyballhof.com and the charity can be followed on Facebook or Twitter @scivbhof.
2019 SCIVBHOF FINALISTS FOR INDUCTION MAY 5, 2019-ANAHEIM
(15 selected will be announced in early January, 2019)
- Jeanne Beauprey-Reeves
- Dain Blanton
- Patti Bright
- Denise Corlett
- Jean Gaertner
- Dixie Grimmett
- Mick Haley
- Tayyiba Haneff-Park
- Jack Henn
- Bernie Holtzman
- Kirk Kilgour
- Alan Knipe
- Debbie Landreth Brown
- Holly McPeak
- Beverly Oden
- Bill Olsson
- April Ross
- Manny Saenz
- Eric Sato
- Liane Sato
- Dave Saunders
- Ken Stanley
- Fred Sturm
- Paul Sunderland
- Rudy Suwara
- Bob Yoder
- Elaine Youngs
2019 SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA INDOOR VOLLEYBALL HALL OF FAME (SCIVBHOF)
Jeanne Beauprey-Reeves has achieved excellence as both a player and a coach. She was All-CIF in volleyball and basketball at Mission Viejo HS and led UCLA to the first NCAA women’s volleyball finals in 1981 while also being a part-time starting center on basketball team. She was a multi-time collegiate VB All-American and then went on to win an Olympic Silver Medal as part of the 1984 USA Indoor Team. After the Olympics she went to Italy where she was MVP in 1985 before turning to coaching. She was the #1 assistant and lead recruiter for two Bruin NCAA title teams in 1990 and 1991, plus several other Volley Four Teams. She then coached internationally at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics as USA Assistant Coach. She was a successful club coach for Wave in San Diego area for over 10 years producing numerous college scholarship athletes, including her daughter Kelly to UCLA. After playing on the four-person and AVP tours, she has coached on the AVP circuit too. She was inducted into the UCLA Athletic HOF in 2000.
Dain Blanton was a standout athlete at Laguna Beach HS and was All-CIF in both volleyball and basketball. He won the NCAA title at Pepperdine at 1992 as starting outside hitter for Marv Dunphy. He was the first African-American starter on a NCAA MVB title team in history. He then went onto a great Beach Volleyball career and won 2000 Sydney Olympic Games Beach Volleyball Gold Medal. He is now a TV commentator for NBC and ESPN and worked as Assistant Beach Coach at USC for their NCAA title teams in 2016 and 2017.
Patti Lucas Bright (deceased 2004) was born in Chicago and came to Southern California in 1962 to advance her volleyball career. She attended USC (1964 grad) and was voted into the Trojan Athletic HOF. She competed for USA at the 1964 and 1968 Olympics as well as the 1963 Pan-American Games as a top setter. She was a first-team USVBA Open All-American four times and USVBA MVP in 40 and older division in 1994, 1995 and 1996. She became a successful high school coach at Santa Monica (won State title), JC coach at Los Angeles City College, and then went to Pepperdine University where her teams made numerous AIAW Tournaments in a 40-year volleyball career. She won the USVBA ‘All-time Great Player’ award in 1983 and was inducted into the International HOF in 1996. She passed away in 2004 and her SCIVBHOF husband Mike passed away in 2018.
Denise Corlett was one of the greatest all-around high school athletes at Marlborough and was named as the first California State HS Female Athlete of the Year. She went to UCLA where she was a four-time All-American setter-hitter in women’s volleyball, playing in four Volley Fours. She won AIAW titles in basketball and badminton and went on to play for USA National Team. She left after 1980 boycott to turn to coaching. She was head coach at San Jose State and Stanford, but is best known as Stanford Associate Coach and lead recruiter for 7 NCAA Titles in the 1990s, 2000s and 2010s and helping USA program with various international teams over the past 30 years.
Jean Gaertner was born in So. Calif and was a tremendous athlete in both volleyball and track and field. She began USVBA play in the 1949 and from 1956-60 she played for the national champion Santa Monica Mariners and moved to the USA national team around attending Cal State Los Angeles. In 1964 she played for the first USA Olympic VB Team after being a 1960 Olympian in track & field in the high jump. She became the first USA female Olympian in two non-related sports. She won silver medals at 1959 and 1963 at the Pan-American Games. She was a 8-time USVBA All-American and 3-time Player of Year. She is a member of the International VB HOF and a member of USA VB 75th Anniversary Team (48-77). She was named as an All-time USA great player in 1971.
Dixie Grimmett became the Long Beach State women’s head coach in 1971 and coached the 49ers to AIAW Titles in 1972 and 1973. She made numerous other AIAW tournament appearance and started the NCAA era while being there through 1985. She was national coach of the year in 1973 when Long Beach became the first undefeated college VB title team in history. She was inducted into the Long Beach State athletic HOF in 1984 and was inducted into the AVCA Hall of Fame in 1990. She was part of CSULB for 45 years as coach, then teacher and administrator. In the 1970s she was considered with UCLA’s Andy Banachowski, USC’s Chuck Erbe and Hawaii’s Dave Shoji among the top five AIAW coaches of all-time.
Mick Haley was not born or raised in Southern California, but came here in 2000 to coach the USC women after guiding the 2000 USA Women’s Olympic Team to 4th place finish in Sydney and became a fixture in So. Calif. VB . He won 2 NCAA titles at USC in 2002, 2003 with the 2003 team being the third unbeaten in NCAA history. Haley was voted AVCA Coach of the Year. The 2002 win made Haley the second coach in NCAA history to ever win titles at two schools (John Dunning). Haley guided the Women of Troy to a 435-119 (.785) record in his 17 seasons (2001-17), six NCAA Final Four appearances and 17 consecutive NCAA Tournament berths. He is one of a few coaches in history to have won both AIAW (two at Texas, plus the 1988 NCAA title) and NCAA Titles (2 at USC). He also coached many years at Kellogg College in Battle Creek Michigan where he won six National JC titles (2 women/4 men). In 41 years of head coaching, he had a 1305-339-1 record (.794 winning percentage) with 47 All-Americans and 115 All-Conference players. He is in the AVCA, Junior College Coaches, Texas Women’s Athletics and Ball State Halls of Fame. He has also been involved with his wife in club vb in the South Bay.
Tayyiba Haneff-Park was an All-CIF player at Laguna Hills HS and won the CIF title her senior year and was State MVP. Then the 6-7 hitter-blocker went to Long Beach State where she was part of two Volley Fours teams losing an unbeaten season in the 2001 NCAA finals. She then played on 3 USA Olympic Teams in 2004 Athens, 2008 Beijing (silver medal), and 2012 London (silver medal—a rarer two-time women’s Olympic volleyball medalist) after returning to the team after having a baby; She was the ‘best scorer’ in the 2005 NORCECA Championships and ‘best server’ at the 2007 Pan-American Games where she won a bronze medal. She won 3 FIVB World Cup Finals (2003, 07, 11). She was a 3-time Big West All-Academic selection. She is now coaching the varsity at Laguna Beach HS.
Jack Henn was part of the 1968 USA Olympic team as a player after being an alternate for the 1964 team. He started the San Diego State men’s program in 1966 as a graduate player and won USVBA ‘Small Schools Title’ then. He led the Aztecs to their only NCAA title in 1973 beating Long Beach in finals. He had the courage to put Laurel Brassey Iversen on 1974 men’s team despite AD objections and was let go as coach after the season. He was brought back to SDSU in 1995 to run the women’s team and coached for six more years for his alma mater.
Bernie Holtzman (deceased 2012) started playing volleyball on the beach in 1935. Holtzman also excelled at the indoor game, competing for the Hollywood YMCA Team in the 40s and 50s. He was involved in coaching 1964 USVBA players that made the first Olympic Team. He stopped playing volleyball in 2004 at the age of 82 when the Hollywood YMCA rescheduled “Volleyball-Play” in the gym to 10 p.m. He and Manny Saenz formed a near-unbeatable tandem on the beach, winning 10 “Open” tournaments beginning with the 1948 State Beach Men’s Open. Holtzman and Gene Selznick formed another almost unbeatable combination as the two won 18 out of 20 “Open” tournaments beginning in 1955. USA Volleyball recognized him on its 75th Anniversary Beach All-Era Team (1928-1952). He was inducted into International HOF in 2006 after being inducted into the California Beach HOF in 1992. He passed away in April of 2012.
Kirk Kilgour (deceased 2002) started at Mira Costa HS, and then moved to UCLA starter on first 2 NCAA title teams in 1970, 71 for Al Scates and was NCAA Co-MVP. He finished his college career with 80-5 record. The lefty also played for USA national team for 7 years before he suffered a training broken spine paralysis accident in Italy that ended his VB playing career in January, 1976. He was the first American player to compete in Italian First Division volleyball. He played on the 1970, 74 USA World Championship Teams, and 1971 Pan-American Games. He won the US Men’s Open in 1975 and was a starter for USA National Team from 1972-76 for squads that did not qualify for the Olympic Games. He was the Pepperdine head coach for three years from 1978-81 and then an assistant for 1985 Waves NCAA title team. He did Olympic Games TV announcing for NBC Sports in 1992 and 1996. He won the 1977 USVBA Medal of Honor, 2009 Int. VB HOF Mintonette Medallion of Merit Award, and was selected as a member of the California Beach Hall of Fame. He passed away in July of 2002.
Alan Knipe is one of most successful NCAA men’s college coaches nationally. His Long Beach State team won the school’s second title in 2018 in his fifth NCAA Volley Four appearance. His teams lost in the NCAA finals in 2004 in 5 sets and semi-finals in 2008, 2016, 2017. He started at middle blocker on the school’s first NCAA title team and was All-Tournament for LBS in 1991 after losing in the finals in 1990 (in 2018 he became the 4th to ever win NCAAs as player and head coach—Rod Wilde, Bob Yoder, John Speraw). He played for USA National Team for two years and was Head Coach for 2012 London Olympics USA Men’s Team and finished 5th. He coached Golden West to 1995 JC State title. He played at Marina HS. He was named in 2011 to the LBS HOF.
Debbie Landreth Brown went to El Segundo HS, then led USC to 72-1 record as captain for Chuck Erbe for two AIAW title teams in 1976, 77 and dominated the sport. She won Collegiate All-American honors and Mikasa ‘Best All-Around’ College awards both years. Started playing VB at age 17 with USA National Team at the World Championships and was Co-Captain of the 1980 USA Olympic team that boycotted. She was an 8-time USVBA All-American and played on four USVBA championship teams. After retiring, she was a long-time women’s college head coach at Arizona State and then Notre Dame with numerous NCAA berths. She was the 1988 USA Olympic Women’s Assistant Coach for Seoul. USA Volleyball named Brown an ‘All-Time Great Volleyball Player’ in 1995. She was Inducted into AVCA Hall of Fame in 2017
Holly McPeak was a CIF and State Championship setter-hitter and HS All-American at Mira Costa HS, She went to California on scholarship and led them to NCAA Tournament. She then transferred to UCLA for senior year and set Bruins to 1990 NCAA title and was All-Tournament. She helped as Assistant Coach when the Bruins won the 1991 NCAA title. After considering the USA National Team, she turned full-time to the beach and became a three-time Olympian (1996, 2000, 2004). She won a bronze medal with Elaine Youngs in 2004. She has become one of TV’s top volleyball broadcasters for indoor and beach for ESPN and Pac-12 Network.
Bev Oden was a dominating All-CIF hitter and blocker and VB Monthly National HS Player of the Year at Irvine HS where she led her team to CIF and State Titles in 1987, 88. She then went to Stanford and became the nation’s first four-time AVCA first team All-American. She was the 1990 AVCA College Player of the Year and Honda Award winner. She then she led Stanford to its first NCAA title over UCLA in 1992. After just missing making the 1992 Olympic Team to play with her sisters Kim and Elaina after playing on the 1991 USA Pan-American Games Team, she went full-time to USA team in 1994 and played on the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Team with sister Elaina. In between she won a silver medal at the 1995 Pan-American Games. She has written for various publications since retiring.
Bill Olsson was a dominating outside hitter in the 1950s into the 1960s and was a USVBA 7-time First-Team All-American and a 6-time National Champion during that time period. He would have been a starter if there was a 1956 or 1960 Olympics. He represented USA for many international matches over that time and was selected as USA ‘All-Time Great Player’ in 1967. He played in the 1959 Pan American Games that won gold medal and was a starter in the 1960 World Championships in Brazil. He was a member of USA national team through 1964, including just missing be a 1964 Tokyo Olympic team member in the twilight of his career. He was selected for USVBA ‘All-Time Great’ Team from 1949-1977.
April Ross went to Newport Harbor HS where was the two-time CIF HS Player of the Year and Gatorade National HS Player of the Year as the nation’s top prep recruit. She also played for USA Junior National Team and the USA A2 team, then went to USC for college where she was National Freshman of the Year in leading the Trojans to the Volley Four. She then became a three-time All-American for Mick Haley and kill leader each season in propelling USC to the 2002 and 2003 NCAA titles, including the unbeaten 2003 season. She then moved to the beach and became a two-time USA Beach Olympian, winning Silver and Bronze medals in 2012 and 2016 with partners Jennifer Kessy and Keri Walsh respectively. She has won 36 times, including being the first to even win three international events before a domestic victory. She is a leading candidate to make the 2020 Olympic Beach Team. She is married to former Pepperdine All-American Brad Keenan.
Manuel ‘Manny’ Saenz (deceased 2000) was voted as Helm’s Athletic Foundation Greatest Volleyball Player for the first half of the 20th century in 1955. He is the only male player to be selected for the honor. He was the 5-6 setter for the Hollywood YMCA in the 1940s and into the 1950 that won 8 national championships and was a five-time All-American. Selected for the USA Volleyball ‘All Era’ teams as an Indoor Player, Beach Player, and Coach. He dominated the beach game in the 1940s and 50s playing with Bernie Holtzman, winning 10 straight tournaments at one time and was inducted into the CBVA HOF in 2005. He was selected for USA ‘All-Time Great Player’ award in 1976. He coached the Santa Monica Mariners women’s team to 6 straight USVBA titles from 1955-60. He coached the USA Women to second place at 1959 Pan-American Games. He has been deceased since 2000.
Eric Sato was a high school champion at Santa Monica before moving into the USA program. Perhaps the best backcourt specialist in USA history in his 9-year career before the Libero. He won the Olympic Gold Medal in 1988 (served match point), and the Olympic Bronze Medal in 1992. He was part of the 1986 World Championship, plus gold medal squad at the 1987 Pan-American Games, and was a two-time US Open champion. He played in 1991 World Cup and 1994 World Championship teams that finished third. He was named to the USA ‘All-Era’ team from 1978-2002 as the only backrow specialist. He has been a successful high school coach at Francis Parker where he won four CIF and two Calif. State titles with the girls and a CIF title with the boys. He was also a JC coach at Grossmont College in the San Diego area. He was selected for USA ‘All-Time Great Player’ award in 2016.
Liane Sato set Santa Monica HS to the CIF and State title in 1981 and was a standout college player at both UC Santa Barbara and All-American at San Diego State where she graduated. She led the Aztecs to two straight NCAA berths and was selected in 2012 for the SDSU Athletic HOF. She played six years on the USA National Team including the 1988 Seoul Olympics and won a bronze medal as part of the 1992 USA Barcelona Olympic Team as a setter and defensive specialist (her brother Eric was part of the 1988 & 92 USA men’s teams). She won a bronze medal with the USA at the 1990 World Championships. After also playing on the beach, primarily as the setter on the four person tour, she retired and became the Volleyball Coach at Santa Monica HS and where she has won CIF titles in both boys and girls.
David Saunders has the distinction of being a volleyball champion on every level. He was a Los Angeles City VB title winner at Palisades HS, then went to UCLA and was a key part of 3 NCAA title teams in 1979, 81 and 82 and was twice All-American as primary passer and starting outside hitter. He then moved to the USA National Team and played as a part-time starter at outside hitter for both the 1984 and 1988 Olympic Games. He is one of only a handful of VB World Olympians in history with 2 Olympic Gold Medals as the USA Indoor teams won the top spot in 1984 and 88. He then finished his international career in Italy before retiring and going into the radio business.
Ken Stanley is the person that made California Junior College Men’s Volleyball possible in the state. He coached Pierce College for 33 years (1964-1997) producing numerous college scholarship players and future college coaches over his time there (including the likes of Olympians Marv Dunphy, Bob Samuelson, Kevin Barnett). He won 3 California State MVB Titles (86, 88, 92) and had six other teams that made the Volley Four, with three losing in the finals. He also won numerous league crowns. The South Gym court is named after him. Stanley worked as a USA Men’s National Team Asst. Coach in the early 1970s and assisted at the 1991 Pan-Am Games. He was an outstanding basketball player that was twice captain of the USC team. Known as ‘Big Daddy’ around the volleyball circuit as he has dedicated his life to the sport.
Fred Sturm won the LA City Championship at Palisades HS and then became a multi-time NCAA Champion at UCLA as the starting outside hitter. His college career was highlighted by starting and being All-Tournament for 1975 title upset over unbeaten UCSB. After a short, but successful beach career (he won 5 titles in 1978), he then became the Stanford head women’s coach and then co-coach with Don Shaw in helping the Cardinals become a national power. The women made multiple NCAA finals and Volley Fours. He then took over the men’s program and led the Cardinal to first NCAA men’s finals in 1989. He then left to become head coach for USA men’s Olympic Team that won the bronze medal in 1992 in Barcelona and then coached the 1996 Atlanta Olympic team. He eventually moved overseas coaching primarily Danish National Men’s Team until retiring after 2016.
Paul Sunderland started as a football and basketball player at Notre Dame HS in Sherman Oaks and went to Oregon on basketball scholarship. While also playing on the beach, he played indoors on the Duck Club team before transferring to Loyola-Marymount to begin his NCAA college volleyball career. He was a collegiate All-American at Loyola and started playing with the USA National Team after the team failed to qualify for the 1976 Olympics and was USVBA MVP in 1977, 1979 and 1982. After the 1980 boycott, Sunderland kept training and made the 1984 Olympic Team as one of the oldest players and won the Gold Medal. After retiring, he has enjoyed over a 30 year broadcast career, primarily indoors and has been on every NBC indoor Olympic broadcast from 1992-2016.
He also commented on numerous other sports for networks like ESPN, Fox Sports and Turner Broadcasting with his vast sports knowledge. He won two Emmys for his talents. In 1986 he was inducted into the USVBA and Loyola-Marymount Athletic Hall of Fames.
Rudy Suwara came West from New York for volleyball and started for the 1968 USA Olympic Team in Mexico City after being an alternate for the 1964 team. He continued with the USA team through 1972. He was the assistant men’s Olympic coach for 1996 Atlanta. He was a top player-coach in the IVA professional league while college coaching in the 1970s. His first college coaching job was at UCLA in 1965 for Al Scates when Pauley opened and Bruins won USVBA title. He became the UCSB men’s head coach leading the Gauchos to 3 Volley Fours (1971, 72, 74) and just missing winning 1974 NCAA title. He then became the first coach to ever win USVBA Open and Collegiate titles in same year in 1974.He then took over as men’s and women’s coach at San Diego State guiding women to first two NCAA Volley Fours in 1981 and 82, plus many trips to NCAA Tournament. He is a member of AVCA Hall of Fame. He was selected for USA ‘All-Time Great Player’ award in 1976.
Bob Yoder was a standout basketball player at San Clemente HS who first came to USC as a BBall walk-on before Ernie Hix switched him to an All-American career in volleyball. He helped lead USC as starting outside hitter to its first NCAA title in 1977 and a runner-up finish in 1979, including winning a NCAA postgraduate scholarship. He turned to coaching after a short stint with the USA team before the 1980 Olympic boycott. First taking the Ohio State job and leading the Buckeyes to the Volley Four, he then took over for Hix at USC and led the Trojans to numerous NCAA Volleyball Fours and championship matches. He became the second person in NCAA history in 1988 to win NCAA titles as both a player and head coach when the Trojans beat UCSB (Pepperdine’s Rod Wilde was the first beating Yoder in the NCAA finals in 1986). He was the only head coach other than Al Scates to take a college men’s team to four straight NCAA finals. His son won a NCAA title at UC Irvine and his daughter played in the Volley Four for USC after Bob helped coach her club team to a national title.
Elaine Youngs was a HS All-American in both volleyball and basketball at El Toro HS, and then went onto UCLA and became a four-time All-American (at time only 5th in NCAA history) when she led the Bruins to four straight Volley Four appearances, win
Tournament. She then went to the USA National Team and was part-time starter for 1996 Atlanta Olympic Team. She then turned to beach and was first female to be both an indoor and beach Olympian; winning a bronze medal with Holly McPeak in 2004 Athens Olympics and then played with Nicole Branagh in 2008 Beijing Olympics, placing 5th. She was inducted into UCLA Athletics HOF.