AVCA Announces Three Hall of Fame Inductees


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LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 8, 2011) - The American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) is proud to announce the ninth annual AVCA Hall of Fame class, featuring John Dunning, Liz Masakayan  and Gerald ‘Gerry' Matacotta. The 2011 AVCA Hall of Fame class will be inducted in ceremonies December 15 at the jostens Coaches Honors Luncheon, held in conjunction with the 2011 AVCA Annual Convention in San Antonio, Texas.


"This 2011 AVCA Hall of Fame class epitomizes what our association is all about," said AVCA Executive Director Kathy DeBoer, "a great coach in John Dunning, a prototype two-sport player in Liz Masakayan and a doggedly determined administrator in Gerry Matacotta. Each, in their own way, changed our thinking about our sport; John modeled for us how elite coaches succeed at every stop and every level, Liz reinforced for us that success is about heart not height, and Gerry showed us that growth is possible in the collegiate men's game if you understand the economics and demographics of the marketplace."       


The induction of these three honorees will bring the total number of AVCA Hall of Fame honorees to 55 in its nine years of existence. For more information on the AVCA Hall of Fame, visit the AVCA Web site, http://www.avca.org/.  


The AVCA Hall of Fame committee consists of: Nona Richardson, UC Davis (former coach, chair); Debby Colberg (AVCA Hall of Fame member); Carolyn Condit, Miami University (NCAA Coach); Chad Purcell, Omaha World-Herald (media); Rick Reynolds, Western Wyoming Community College (NAIA/Two-Year College coach) and Bren Stevens, University of Charleston (administrator).


John Dunning

Current Stanford University head women's volleyball coach John Dunning has been in the spotlight of NCAA volleyball since he began his coaching career 26 years ago at University of the Pacific. Since then, he has collected four national titles, tying former Cardinal coach Don Shaw for the second-most in NCAA history, and coached in more Division I national title matches (9) than any other coach. Dunning has taken every team he has coached to the NCAA Tournament and led a remarkable 88 percent of them to a round-of-sixteen appearance. Dunning ranks among the top-five coaches all-time with a .827 career winning percentage, and among the top-10 active coaches with 726 career wins. Dunning boasts a 726-151 career record to date, and he has had 29 athletes earn 58 AVCA All-America honors, while mentoring four AVCA Division I National Players of the Year. 


Prior to beginning his career at the collegiate level, Dunning made a name for himself as one of the nation's top prep and junior club coaches. He was the founder of the Bay Club and also spent nine successful years as the head coach at Fremont High School. His teams at Fremont were among the top-five in the state each of his last six years, also capturing eight league titles, six sectional crowns and one state championship. His impressive 283-32 (.898) high school record makes him one of the most successful prep coaches in California history. After founding the Bay Club, he built it into one of the country's most successful and well-managed junior programs in just four years, with his team capturing a national championship in 1984. With his accomplishments in club, high school and collegiate volleyball, Dunning is one of only two coaches to have captured national titles on three different levels.


Dunning has also spent time coaching at the national level. He was selected to coach the north squad at the 1995 U.S. Olympic Festival and led the team to a gold medal. From 1993 to 1994, he served as President of the AVCA He served the two previous years as the NCAA Division I representative to the AVCA Board of Directors, and has been a member of the AVCA Division I All-America Selection Committee many times. Dunning also served as interim athletic director at Pacific in 1999-2000. In May 2008, he was named to the USA Volleyball Board of Directors.


Dunning earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in mathematics and economics from San Diego State in 1973. He and his wife Julie have two daughters, Lauren and Lisa, and two grandchildren, McKenzie and Cole.


"Beyond John's success on the court is the fact that most of us would love to have our kids have the opportunity to play for him," wrote former University of Nebraska head women's volleyball coach and AVCA Hall of Fame member Terry Pettit in his endorsement letter of Dunning.  "He is among the most principled coaches we have. He is loyal to the people he recruits and he fosters those relationships beyond their graduation. I cannot think of a person that is more deserving of this honor."


Liz Masakayan

If you're looking for someone in the volleyball community who has enjoyed immense success in almost every arena of the sport, then look no further than Liz Masakayan. In her four years playing at UCLA from 1982-1985, Masakayan was a two-time AVCA All-American, a three-time all-conference honoree and the winner of the Honda Broderick Award in 1984 as the nation's premiere collegiate volleyball player.  In the 1984 national championship match, Masakayan scored 10 of her team's 15 points in the fifth set to give the Bruins their first ever national title.  As for the record books, she ranks No. 1 all-time at UCLA in aces, No. 3 in kills and No. 7 in digs, on her way to being inducted into the UCLA Hall of Fame and her No. 21 jersey being retired.


She had continued success with the U.S. National Team from 1986-1990 where she played an instrumental part in winning a bronze medal in 1986 Goodwill Games, silver at the 1987 Zone Championships and another bronze at the Pan Am Games.


After her indoor career ended, Masakayan decided to head outdoors and take her game to the beach.  Individually, Masakayan is No. 8 all-time with 47 wins, while also collecting numerous awards during her beach career, including garnering 1994 FIVB Most Outstanding Player accolades.


As great as all of her accomplishments were on the court, it's what she has done off the court that makes her career truly legendary.  From 2002 to 2004, she was the USA Volleyball Vice President of the Beach Division before serving as a USAV Board Member for the following two years. 


Masakayan first entered the coaching ranks in 1991 at UCLA as a second assistant, and that year the Bruins won another NCAA national title.  However, she is currently regarded as one of the top beach coaches around.  In 2004, she coached the No. 2 ranked U.S. team of Holly McPeak and Elaine Youngs to a bronze medal in the Summer Olympics in Athens, Greece.  She currently coaches her former partner, Dianne DeNecochea and Brittany Hochevar, who, in the second AVP tourney of the 2010 season, reached their first ever championship match.


"Liz is truly representative of the complete volleyball player, as evidenced by her talents both indoors and outdoors, and as achieved championship status at every level," wrote former UCLA head women's volleyball coach and AVCA Hall of Fame member Andy Banachowski in his support letter of Masakayan. "Liz Masakayan is very deserving of inclusion into the AVCA Hall of Fame."


Gerry Matacotta

Most of the growth in collegiate men's volleyball in the last twenty years has been at the NCAA Division III level.  Gerry Matacotta has been the driving force behind that growth. Matacotta was one of the founders of the Northeast Collegiate Volleyball Association (NECVA), a NCAA Division III men's volleyball conference, and has also acted as the organization's executive director.


Matacotta has tirelessly promoted, marketed and convinced collegiate athletic directors through the northeast part of the country to add a men's volleyball program to their list of varsity sports. In 1995, there were approximately 28 Division III men's volleyball teams in the nation. Today there are nearly 60 programs.


Matacotta was instrumental in the development of the Molten Division III Men's Invitational Volleyball Championship, which previously served as the season-ending tournament for Division III men's volleyball until this season, helping bring the AVCA, USA Volleyball and Molten Inc., aboard as event sponsors. In January 2011, the NCAA voted to create a new men's volleyball Division III National Championship tournament, marking the first men's NCAA National Championship that has been added since 1985. Until then, the only NCAA national championship tournament for which men's Division III schools were eligible to compete was the same one in which larger, scholarship granting Division I and II schools compete.


"There is no doubt that no one has more directly impacted the growth of men's NCAA volleyball at the Division III level than Gerry," affirmed USA Volleyball CEO Doug Beal in his endorsement letter of Matacotta.  "He has worked diligently and tirelessly with other partners, like the late Mike Riccardi, to create the NECVA men's volleyball conference. The structure he put together, the regulations that the conference operated under and the involvement of the schools' athletic directors allowed for tremendous growth of NCAA Division III men's volleyball, which ultimately led to the formation of a separate men's Division III championship that will be contested for the first time in 2012."

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