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Longtime Olympic volleyball coach Marv Dunphy announces retirement

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Longtime U.S. volleyball coach Marv Dunphy announced his retirement Monday after working at seven Olympics in various capacities.

“I’ve decided that it’s time,” Dunphy said in a press release. “It’s just time, and there’s not a lot more to it than that.”

Dunphy was named head coach of the U.S. men’s volleyball team after the 1984 Games. He guided the U.S. to its first world championship in 1986, as well as the gold medal at the 1988 Olympics.

He was involved with the U.S. national team at every Olympics since then, with the exception of the 1992 Games. He was either an assistant or consultant coach with the U.S. men in 1996, 2000, 2004 and 2008 (winning gold in 2008), and a consulting or scouting coach with the U.S. women in 2012 and 2016 (winning silver in 2012 and bronze in 2016).

“Marv Dunphy championed one of the most successful runs in USA Volleyball’s Olympic history as head coach,” said Lori Okimura, the current chair of the USA Volleyball Board of Directors. “As much as Marv has accomplished on the court, he has done so much more off the court. His influence as a teacher, mentor and friend to many has shaped the character of generations of men and women in our sport who continue to give back.”

Dunphy modeled his coaching style after longtime UCLA basketball coach John Wooden. When he earned his doctorate from Brigham Young University, his dissertation was titled, ”John Robert Wooden: The Coaching Process.”

“Individuals never lose their desire to be treated as individuals,” Dunphy told this reporter in 2009. “When I need to teach them stuff as a group or a team it gets done, but I think the players learn the most on a one-to-one basis.”

When he was not with the U.S. national team, Dunphy served as the men’s head coach at Pepperdine University. He led the Waves to four NCAA titles and more than 600 wins. 11 of his former player competed in either indoor or beach volleyball at the Olympics, earning seven gold and two bronze medals. A Pepperdine alum has played volleyball at every Olympics since the 1992 Games.

Dunphy has been inducted into a long list of Halls of Fame: International Volleyball Hall of Fame (1994), the AVCA Hall of Fame (2009), the Pepperdine University Athletics Hall of Fame (2010) and the Southern California Indoor Volleyball Hall of Fame (2017).

He spent 34 years as the head coach at Pepperdine, which was named the No. 2 most beautiful college campus by Princeton Review in 2014.

He turned down opportunities to leave the Malibu, Calif. campus, telling the Los Angeles Times in 1985:

“People used to ask me, ‘Marv, you’ve done well here. Are you ready to move on to a name school, a name athletic department?’

“But they weren’t sitting in my office. They weren’t looking out over the ocean. I tell ya, there’s not a better place to work.”

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MORE: U.S. volleyball player goes head-first into barrier for save (video)

U.S. Olympic, USA Gymnastics leaders set for another Senate hearing

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Recently replaced U.S. Olympic Committee acting CEO Susanne Lyons, USA Gymnastics President and CEO Kerry Perry and Michigan State interim president John Engler are scheduled witnesses for a Senate subcommittee hearing next Tuesday on reforms following the Larry Nassar sexual-abuse crimes.

The hearing is titled, “Strengthening and Empowering U.S. Amateur Athletes: Moving Forward with Solutions” and will stream live at https://www.commerce.senate.gov/ on Tuesday at 2:30 p.m. ET.

“The hearing will focus on changes made by the United States Olympic Committee (USOC), USA Gymnastics (USAG), and Michigan State University (MSU) to protect Olympic and amateur athletes from abuse,” according to the subcommittee’s website. “It will examine recent reforms to provide safe environments for athletes and how these reforms are being implemented.”

The subcommittee held hearings April 18 and June 5 with testimonies from gymnasts and other athletes who were abused, former Michigan State president Lou Anna Simon and former senior vice president of USA Gymnastics Rhonda Faehn. Former USA Gymnastics CEO Steve Penny also attended the June 5 hearing but refused to answer questions.

Lyons and Perry were questioned at a House subcommittee hearing May 23.

The USOC last Thursday named Sarah Hirshland its new CEO, replacing Lyons, who had been in the role on an interim basis since Scott Blackmun resigned in February. Blackmun, who had been CEO since January 2010, left citing prostate cancer and the USOC’s need to immediately address the USA Gymnastics sexual-abuse scandal.

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MORE: USOC names first permanent female CEO

Annemiek van Vleuten wins La Course with epic comeback (video)

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Annemiek van Vleuten, the cyclist who returned from a horrific Rio Olympic road race crash to become world champion, repeated as La Course winner with an epic last-kilometer comeback on Tuesday.

Van Vleuten sprinted from several seconds behind countrywoman Anna van der Breggen to win the one-day race, including four categorized climbs, contested on part of the Tour de France stage 10 course later that day.

“With 300 meters to go, I still thought I got second, and then I saw her dying,” Van Vleuten said, adding later, according to Cyclingnews.com, “With 500 meters to go my team director in the car gave up and stopped cheering for me.”

In Rio, van Vleuten suffered three small spine fractures and a concussion when her brakes appeared to lock, and she flipped over into a ditch during the road race. Van Vleuten was alone in the lead at the time with about seven miles to go of the 87-mile course.

She was eventually hospitalized in intensive care.

Van der Breggen went on to win the Olympic title, while van Vleuten returned quick enough to race at the October 2016 World Championships.

Van Vleuten, 35, won her first world title 13 months after the Rio Games, taking the time trial crown ahead of van der Breggen by 12 seconds. She also won the 10-stage Giro Rosa that concluded on Sunday.

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