Legendary BYU head volleyball coach was one of 23 individuals inducted into the inaugural class of the AVCA Hall of Fame. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)
COLORADO SPRINGS, COLO. -- The American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) inducted its inaugural AVCA Hall of Fame on Dec. 18 in conjunction with the 2003 AVCA Annual Convention in Dallas at the Wyndham Anatole Hotel. Lengendary BYU volleyball coach Elaine Micahelis is one of 23 members to be inducted. The AVCA Hall of Fame recognizes individuals who have and continue to make significant contributions to the sport of volleyball.
Michaelis compiled 887 wins in her distinguished 40 year volleyball head coaching career (all at BYU), which ranks second all time in NCAA Division I volleyball, and she has the most wins among female coaches in any sport. She stepped down as head volleyball coach in May 2002, and is currently in her ninth year as the director of women's athletics at BYU.
The 2003 inductees are Iradge Ahrabi-Fard, Andy Banachowski, Doug Beal, Larry Bock, Jim Coleman, Linda Dollar, Dave and Bernice Epperson, Dixie Grimmett, Linda Herman, Debbie Hunter, Fran Kalafer, Darlene Kluka, Terry Liskevych, Sharon McAlexander, Stewart McDole, Marilyn McReavy-Nolen, Elaine Michaelis, Mary Jo Peppler, Donald Shondell, Tom Tait, Barbara Viera and Lois Webb. (biographies on each inductee can be found later in this release)
The inaugural class includes all 20 AVCA Founders Award recipients and each of the six AVCA Excellence in Education Award winners. The 2003 class is comprised of 23 members, as three individuals have won both awards.
The Founder's Award, named for AVCA founders Andy Banachowski (UCLA head women's volleyball coach) and Terry Liskevych (former head coach of the U.S. Women's National Team), began in 1992 and honored individuals who have been involved in the advancement of the sport of volleyball over a span of 15 years, whether it be in coaching, playing, publicity, administration or management.
The AVCA Excellence in Education Award was established in 1999 to recognize AVCA members who have made outstanding on-going educational contributions to the volleyball community over a number of years.
"The establishment of the AVCA Hall of Fame marks an important juncture in the recognition of coaching excellence for the volleyball community," Stephanie Schleuder, head volleyball coach at Macalester College and AVCA President, said. "Induction into the AVCA Hall of Fame will become synonymous with reaching the pinnacle of success as a professional coach. In addition to honoring coaches, the AVCA has established other important categories such as education and administration, where we will honor individuals for their vital professional contributions to the growth of volleyball. We are truly excited to be inducting our first class at the convention in Dallas."
In the future a seven-member panel will select inductees in the categories of: coach/educator, player, administrator and organization. The selection committee will consist of a current NCAA men's or women's head coach, a current NAIA or Two-Year College head coach, a former head coach, a member of the AVCA Hall of Fame, a nationally recognized media member and current and former administrators. Nominations will be accepted by any AVCA member and will require two supporting recommendations.
Biographies for the inductees follow in alphabetical order:
Iradge Ahrabi-Fard coached 19 years at the University of Northern Iowa and helped the Panthers make a successful transition from NCAA Division II competition to Division I. During his tenure at UNI, he compiled a 503-142 (.780) record and recorded at least 20 victories in 17 of 19 years. After guiding the Panthers to a 31-1 record in 1999 and a berth in the NCAA Division I Tournament Sweet 16, he was named the AVCA National Coach of the Year and received the inaugural AVCA Excellence in Education Award. Ahrabi-Fard was voted the AVCA District Coach of the Year in 1985 and 1999 and was the conference coach of the year six times, twice for the Gateway Conference and four-times in the Missouri Valley Conference. In 1997, he took a leave of absence to serve as a consultant for USA Volleyball and the development of its teams.
Andy Banachowski has been at the helm of the UCLA Bruins for 37 years. Since the program's inception in 1965, he has been an important part for all but two years. He was named the AVCA National Coach of the Year in 1989. Banachowski was a four-time AVCA Region Coach of the Year and a five-time Pac-10 Coach of the Year in 1989. He received the AVCA Founders Award in 1992 for his part in establishing the AVCA and he was inducted into the Volleyball Hall of Fame in 1997. Banachowski became the first women's volleyball coach to reach 900-career wins on Sept. 1, 2001. The Bruins have won six national championships, including three NCAA with the last title coming in 1991.
Doug Beal, a 1989 inductee to the Volleyball Hall of Fame, guided the USA men's volleyball team to the "Triple Crown" of volleyball in the 1980s. The U.S. Team won the Olympic gold medal in 1984 and the World Cup and World Championship gold medals in 1985. Beal received the AVCA Founder's Award and was the first recipient of USA Volleyball's All-Time Great Coach of the Year in 1995. Besides being a coach, he played for Ohio State and the U.S. National Team in 1970-76. Beal was an All-American and the conference most valuable player in 1969 and was named the National Team MVP in 1975.
Larry Bock is the all-time victory leader in NCAA women's volleyball coaching with a record of 995-166 in 27 seasons at Juniata. On three occasions he was named the AVCA National Coach of the Year and is a six-time AVCA Region Coach of the Year. Bock has been with Juniata women's volleyball since varsity competition began in 1977 and coached the men's program for six years. He was named Juniata's director of athletics in July of 1995 and was a recipient of the AVCA Founder's Award in 2000.
Jim Coleman, who passed away on Aug. 3, 2001, was like a gift that just kept on giving to the volleyball world. Coleman received the AVCA Founder's Award in 1998 and he was awarded the AVCA Excellence in Education Award in 2001. He invented the net antenna, created the volleyball statistics system, colored panels on volleyballs and the Immediate Feedback Video System. Coleman became the second-ever head coach for the USA men's national team and led the team to the 1968 Olympics. He coached until 1970, again in 1979-80 and once more in 1990. As the head coach at George Williams, he led the squad to the NAIA National Championship in 1974. Coleman served as the head coach of the Minnesota Monarchs of Major League Volleyball in 1987. He directed the National AAU (Amateur Athletic Union) Junior Volleyball Championships for 16 years, was a member of the FIVB (International Volleyball Rules Commission) for 24 years and was an editor of the FIVB Rules Casebook. Coleman was inducted to the Volleyball Hall of Fame in 1992.
Linda Dollar was a 2000 recipient of the AVCA Founders Award. She spent 24 years at Southwest Missouri State coaching the Bears before stepping down in 1995 to serve as the assistant director of athletics for compliance. Dollar became the first woman to record 700-career wins and compilied a record of 758-266-21 in over 1,000 matches at SMSU. She served time on the AVCA Board of Directors and spent four years serving on the NCAA Division I Volleyball Committee. Dollar was inducted to the SMSU Women's Athletics Hall Of Fame in 1983 and became the first female member of the Springfield Area Sports Hall of Fame in 1994.
Dave and Bernice Epperson helped to create one of the largest annual sporting events in the world. The Volleyball Festival started out as a tournament that featured 120 teams and now showcases over 7,000 matches. The event includes 9,500 girls between the ages of 12 and 18 from over 30 states and four countries. Besides the benefits the athletes get, the Volleyball Festival offers workshops for parents, training sessions for sports-medicine and clinics for referees and coaches. The Volleyball Festival was inducted into the International Volleyball Hall of Fame in October of 1999. Because of the huge impact of this tournament on the volleyball world, the Epperson's were honored with the AVCA Founders Award in 1994.
Dixie Grimmett, a 1997 Founders Award Recipient, was the head coach at Long Beach State University for 13 years. She coached two AIAW national championship teams in 1972 and 1973 and accumulated a record of 250-169-6. The 49ers posted a perfect 33-0 record during the 1972 season. Grimmitt played for the United States Volleyball Association and served as the head coach of Team USA at the World University Games in 1973.
Linda Herman served 27 years in the Illinois State Athletic Department, seven years as the head volleyball coach and 20 years as the associate director of athletics, and retired in 2002. Herman has been a driving force in women's athletics and was honored with the 1996 ATALANTA Award for Women's Athletics by Athletic Management. The award honors schools and administrators who are working to further gender equity. Herman served on many NCAA Committees, including the Midwest Regional Committee, National Committee and Corporate Volleyball Sponsorship Committee. She received the AVCA Founders Award in 1995 and was named the National Association of Collegiate Women Athletic Administrators District V Administrator of the Year.
Debbie Hunter received the AVCA Excellence in Education Award in 2002. She was the director of education development and services for USA Volleyball from 1989 through 2000. Hunter developed the USA Coaching Accreditation Program (CAP) which has become one of the most recognizable and respected sport education programs. She has served as the AVCA Awards Chairperson and Board Member, the United States Olympic Committee's coaching committee, the USAV Board of Directors and many others. Before arriving at USA Volleyball, Hunter was the head volleyball coach at Southern Illinois from 1975 to 1988.
Fran Kalafer, a 2001 AVCA Founders Award recipient, has been at the helm of Hofstra Volleyball for 23 years. During her tenure, she has become one of the winningest NCAA Division I Coaches and currently ranks 11th on the list. In 20 of 23 seasons, Kalafer's teams have recorded 20 or more wins and four times have gone over the 30-win mark. She was named the Nassau County Sports Commission Female Coach of the Year in 1998. Prior to arriving at Hofstra, she was the Smithtown East High School Head Coach and compiled a 91-10 record. Kalafer became the first non-Smithtown graduate to be inducted to the Smithtown High School Sports Hall of Fame in 1997.
Darlene Kluka has served on the AVCA's Education and Publications Committee since 1987 and is a current member of the AVCA Board of Directors as the Education and Publications Representative. Kluka is the founding editor of the International Journal for Volleyball Research and serves on the Editorial Board for Coaching Volleyball. With a doctorate in motor learning, she has received awards such as the NAGWS Honor Award in 1996, the Women's Sports Foundation President's Award in 1996, USA Volleyball's Leader in Volleyball Award in 1998 and the AVCA Excellence in Education Award in 1999. The Women's Sports Foundation named an award in her honor in 2000: The Darlene Kluka Women's Sports and Activity Research Award.
Terry Liskevych, one of the co-founders of the AVCA, was in the first class to receive the AVCA Founders Award in 1993. Liskevych tallied 337 wins and spent 12 years at the helm of the USA women's national team, more than any other coach for the U. S. team. He led the USA to a bronze medal at the Olympic Games in 1992. Liskevych was honored as the FIVB Coach of the Year in 1995 and was presented the George J. Fisher Leader in Volleyball Award in 1999. Prior to joining USA Volleyball, Liskevych served as the head men's volleyball coach at Ohio State and the women's head coach at the University of the Pacific. He was named the NCAA Division I Coach of the Year in 1983.
Sharon McAlexander was the first executive director of the Collegiate Volleyball Coaches Association (now the AVCA) and helped the organization get off the ground. McAlexander worked part-time and obtained legal status, recruited a solid membership and planned and implemented the first national convention. McAlexander served as the assistant volleyball coach at UCLA under Andy Banachowski for several years. After her time at UCLA, she led the program at Ventura College where she compiled an overall record of 73-18. Ventura won two Western State Conference championships (1990 and 1991) with McAlexander and she was named WSC Coach of the Year on two occasions.
Stewart McDole has been at the helm of the Graceland College volleyball program for the last 21 years. During 13 of those years, he has led the squad to the Heart of America Athletic Conference title and named the HAAC Coach of the Year 12 times. McDole has served on the AVCA Board of Directors as the NAIA Representative and was a member of the AVCA Executive Committee. McDole also teaches health and physical education at Graceland. He received the AVCA Founders Award in 1997.
Marilyn McReavy Nolen has coached for 31 seasons and became just the third NCAA Division I coach to reach the 800-win milestone on Nov. 23, 2002, with Saint Louis University. She currently ranks third on the active Division I coaching list. Nolen has coached at several universities, including New Mexico State, Utah State, Kentucky, Florida and North Florida before heading to SLU. In 1967, she was selected to the USA national team and played internationally until 1975. She spent time developing the first national training center for the USA Olympic women's team in Pasadena, Texas, before it moved to Colorado Springs. Nolen was inducted to the Women's Sports Foundation Hall of Fame in 1978 and was named a "Leader in Volleyball" in 1992 by USA Volleyball. She was selected as one of the inaugural recipients of USA Volleyball's All-Time Great Coaches Award in 1996. Nolen was honored with the AVCA Founders Award in 1999 and is retiring this year from coaching.
Elaine Michaelis, the head coach at BYU for 40 years, received the AVCA Founders Award in 1996. Michaelis stepped down as the head coach in May 2002. She became the all-time leader in victories among female coaches in collegiate volleyball at any level (887-225-5). Michaelis was an eight-time Mountain West Coach of the Year. She was named the Tachikara Northwest Region Coach of the Year in 1987. Michaelis was inducted into the Utah Summer Games Hall of Fame in 1987 and into the Hall of Fame of the Utah Network for Women and Girls in Sport in 1990. Michaelis is currently in her 11th year as BYU's director of Women's Intercollegiate Athletics and was named USA Volleyball's All-Time Great Coach in 2001.
Mary Jo Peppler, both an outstanding player (indoors and outdoors) and coach, was awarded with the AVCA Founders Award in 1998. During her playing career, she was a six-time First-Team All-American and a four-time Player of the Year. In 1964, Peppler competed on the U.S. team in the Olympic Games and earned gold at the Pan American Games in 1967. She was honored as the USBBA All-Time Great Volleyball Player in 1984 and started playing regularly on the Association of Volleyball Professionals until 1993. Peppler went on to coach at Utah State, Kentucky and Florida. From 1991-96, she mentored the number-one women's beach volleyball team of Karolyn Kirby and Liz Masakayan. She was inducted into the Volleyball Hall of Fame in 1990 and was named Volleyball Magazine's "third most influential person of the century in volleyball." Peppler also served as a co-founder of the first year-round training program in Pasadena, Texas, in 1972.
Donald Shondell was the inaugural head coach of the Ball State men's program in 1960. He led Ball State to the first NCAA championship in 1970 and compiled a record of 734-254-6. Shondell received the Mikasa Sporting Goods Lifetime Achievement Award for Service in the Sport of Volleyball in 1988. He was inducted into the Volleyball Hall of Fame in 1992. He received the 1996 AVCA Founders Award and was awarded with the 2000 AVCA Excellence in Education Award. Shondell was very active in the AVCA as he spent time on the editorial board and on the men's volleyball committee. He contributed to several issues of Coaching Volleyball, published multiple articles in AVCA books and was a speaker at several AVCA annual conventions.
Tom Tait received the AVCA Founders Award in 1999. A former men's head coach at Penn State, Tait was named the 1986 Volleyball Monthly National Coach of the Year. During his career, he was a five-time Eastern Collegiate Coach of the Year and earned Coach Emeritus status from the EIVA in 1990. He served as the head coach of the U.S. Olympic Festival team and was the 1982 Junior National Team assistant for the Pacific Rim Championships. Tait also mentored the 1983 World University Games team and was the assistant coach at the 1983 Pan American Games. Tait founded and coached the Penn State women's volleyball club in 1974.
Barbara Viera, a 2002 AVCA Excellence in Education award recipient, served as the head volleyball coach at Delaware for 27 years. Viera retired on Feb. 15, 2000, to concentrate on her teaching duties with a 682-429 overall record. Over the years, she chaired the AVCA Education and Publications Committee, served on the AVCA Board of Directors and helped to generate articles for Coaching Volleyball. Viera also served on three USA Volleyball committees and wrote two books during her tenure at Delaware.
Lois Webb received the AVCA Founders Award in 2002 and was the head volleyball coach at Florida Southern for 24 years. Since 1981, she served as the NCAA senior women's administrator and moved to the interim A.D. in 2000 before taking on the role permanently. The Moccasins went to the NCAA 16 times under her leadership and advanced to the national championship in 1989, 1990 and 1991. Her team finished fourth nationally in 1998 and 1991. Webb collected a 747-272 record with the Moccasins and had the second most wins of any NCAA Division II coach while her .733 winning percentage of ranked in the top 10. Webb is a member of the Sunshine State Conference Hall of Fame.