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."