2013 AVCA Hall of Fame Class Announced
LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 12, 2013) - The American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) is proud to announce the 11th annual AVCA Hall of Fame class. Charles Erbe, John Kessel, Richard McCory and Margaret Worthington will all be honored in ceremonies at the 2013 Jostens Coaches Honors Luncheon, held in conjunction with the 2013 AVCA Convention in Seattle, Washington.
The AVCA annually recognizes those individuals who have reached the pinnacle of their profession and the sport, with the AVCA Hall of Fame. The first AVCA Hall of Fame class, a total of 23 individuals who had earned either the AVCA Founders Award or AVCA Excellence in Education Award, was honored at the 2003 AVCA Annual Convention.
Starting his volleyball coaching career on the heels of Title IX in 1973 at Marina High School in Huntington Beach, California, Charles "Chuck" Erbe developed into one of the best international and collegiate coaches this country has ever seen. Upon retiring from Michigan State at the conclusion of the 2004 season, Erbe posted a career record of 554-261-3 splitting 24 collegiate years at the helm of USC (310-121-3) and the Spartans (244-140).
Erbe led the women of East Lansing to 10 consecutive trips to the NCAA Tournament, including their first ever appearance in just his second season in 1994. The following year was full of more firsts with MSU clinching their first Big Ten Championship and earning their first national ranking, reaching as high as No. 3 in the AVCA Coaches Poll. They went on to advance to the national semifinals after defeating Hawai'i in Honolulu to complete the team's best season in school history with a 34-3 record. For the fantastic year, Erbe was recognized as the Big Ten, Volleyball Magazine and AVCA National Coach of the Year.
The Oklahoma native also enjoyed a fine career as the head coach of the University of Southern California. He led the Trojans to AIAW National Championships in 1976, 1977 and 1980, and to the NCAA National Championship in 1981. USC advanced to AIAW or NCAA Tournament play in 11 of his 12 years as head coach. His first two seasons saw the Trojans register an incredible 72-1 record with his 1977 squad finishing a perfect 38-0. That team had six All-Americans and is widely considered one of the top teams ever assembled.
Internationally, Erbe enjoyed great success coaching the United States women and juniors. He led the U.S. women's team in the World Volleyball Championships in Mexico City, Mexico, and went on to win consecutive Pacific Rim Junior Championships in 1975 and 1976. The 1975 win marked the first time in volleyball history that a USA team defeated Japan at any level of competition. In 1981, he was at the helm of the U.S. women's team in the World University Games in Bucharest, Romania in addition to serving as an assistant coach for the national team in 1979.
"Today, the volleyball world is filled with hundreds of coaches and players which were personally mentored by Chuck," said University of Central Florida Head Coach Todd Dagenais. "Each of them form a branch off of his ‘coaching tree,' some of them are even today's primary caretakers and innovators in the sport, but all of them still depend on the strength of those roots Chuck laid down so many years ago."
For over 40 years, John Kessel has played an integral role in the sport of volleyball. He has been coaching since 1971 at the collegiate level or above, currently serving as the Director of Sport Development for USA Volleyball. In 1995, Volleyball Magazine named him one of the 50 most important people in the sport in the past 100 years.
One of the best international instructors in the world, Kessel has conducted seminars in all 50 states and over 30 countries. He is also an accomplished author, having written over a half dozen USAV books, including the Impact coaching manual, the Jr. Olympic Volleyball Program Guide, and most recently Minivolley 4 Youth and countless other articles and blogs.
He has received a plethora of awards over the course of his distinguished career: USA Volleyball's Honorable Mention in 1978 and 1986, the Harry Wilson Distinguished International Service in 2004, the George Fisher Leader in Volleyball in 2006 and in 2007 was named a Sport Ethics Fellow by the Institute for International Sport.
"It is hard for me to think of anyone who has dedicated more of their life to the growth of our sport as an educator, clinician, and generally worked to assist at almost every level of volleyball across both disciplines, both genders, with disabled and sitting volleyball throughout the country," said USA Volleyball CEO Doug Beal. "I am quite confident there is not an individual who has touched more parts of our sport in more parts of our country for a longer period time than John."
Few have embodied the "American Dream" more than former Mikasa President Richard McCoy, who passed away in June of last year. He started at Mikasa washing windows and cleaning out the cigarette butts from the planter before taking a job in the warehouse. Over the course of the next two decades he worked his way up through every position until he became president, which he served 33 years.
He was a strong believer in supporting both programs and people by leading Mikasa Sports into a long-time exhibitor at the AVCA Convention, one of the original members of the Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association (SGMA) Volleyball Executive Council, the first official ball sponsor of the AVP, and supplied the official game balls for USA Volleyball's men's and women's national teams. However, what many say is his greatest accomplishment is McCoy's involvement in having Mikasa be the official ball of the FIVB and the Olympic Games. He was also instrumental in developing the multi-colored ball, which premiered in the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta with beach volleyball, which also made their Olympics debut.
What many may not have known about McCoy was his generosity and philanthropic causes within the sport. He provided much funding to coaches and players in need like helping pay for AVCA memberships and participation in coaching clinics and seminars. He encouraged his staff to get involved in ways beyond being a ball supplier, and to always look for opportunities to give back to the volleyball community. When junior national qualifier tournaments began growing into larger venues, McCoy sponsored most of them by supplying balls, money and staff. It was his philosophy to spend a lot of time cultivating and developing relationships, and to make sure there was an open stream of communication between fellow coaches and educators. When a company signed on with Mikasa, it was a lot more than just a contract, it was Richard McCoy.
"I knew Richard McCoy for my entire adult life. He was my greatest mentor, as he was for others," said current President and CEO of Mikasa Lori Okimura. "He taught me how to do the kind of business that helped the sport of volleyball. He showed me a path in business that would help me in life. As I continue my own career in the sport we both loved, I am constantly reminded of his significant contributions, and the way he shaped Mikasa Sports into a global powerhouse in our sport."
Margaret "Peg" Worthington
"When I think about Peg Worthington, I think of leadership that whispers," said Trinity College Head Volleyball Coach Jen Bowman, who spent numerous years coaching against her. Worthington enters the AVCA Hall of Fame with over 40 years of coaching and teaching experience, most notably 24 years at the helm of the Gallaudet University volleyball team where she compiled an astounding 615-305 record from 1970-1981 then 1984-1997. She led them to three CAC Championships. GU is a federally chartered university for the education of the deaf and the hard of hearing.
After being a nationally ranked team for the first time in program history in 1981, four years later they were ranked as high as No. 6 and earned a berth in the NCAA Tournament with a record of 44-6. Six of Worthington's athletes have been inducted into the Gallaudet Athletic Hall of Fame, and she's also coached 26 Bison in five different Deaflympics.
Internationally, Worthington has been a part of coaching staffs that have won a grant total of five medals as both the head and assistant coach in the Deaflympics from 1981-1997 (two gold, two silver and a bronze). She also won gold in the 1990 International Friendship Games as the head coach.
In addition to coaching, she served in various roles at Gallaudet including three years as Assistant Athletic Director and nine years as the Senior Women's Administrator. The 2008 Gallaudet Athletics Hall of Fame inductee was also named the 1996 Tachikara Mid-Atlantic Conference Coach of the Year, Capitol Athletic Conference Coach of the Year, and a 2003 Edison High School (NJ) Hall of Honor inductee.
Jen Bowman continues: "She made everyone around her better - her players, assistant coaches and opponents. She was always willing to share information, lend a hand, give a high-five or a hug. As a senior playing at Gallaudet, (in a tournament now named the Worthington Classic) I tore my ACL. Coaching Worthington was the first person outside of my team that came right over, put her arm around me and told me I'd be fine. Lots of people tried to console me that day, but strangely the only person I really believed was Coach Worthingtoin. She has such a sweet and genuine soul that she can reach people on a different level. Her credibility with me was off the charts."
The AVCA, with its headquarters in Lexington, Ky., is managed by Associations International. The mission of the AVCA is to develop the sport of volleyball and its coaches. With a membership of over 6,000 and counting, the AVCA provides a professional network for those individuals and companies dedicated to enhancing and promoting the sport. Members include collegiate, high school, club, youth and Olympic coaches, as well as volleyball club directors. The AVCA provides education to volleyball coaches, recognition of elite players and coaches, promotion of volleyball competitions throughout the world, and networking opportunities for volleyball products and services providers. Further information is available at www.avca.org.