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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