Palo Alto Weekly

Sports - June 10, 2011

Stanford's Dunning headed for hall of fame

John Dunning has a lot to look forward to in the coming days, weeks and months. First off, he'll accompany his Stanford women's volleyball team to China for a series of matches. The squad leaves Thursday. After a brief summer vacation, it's back to work for the regular season that will be topped by at least one special event.

In December, Dunning will be one of three inductees into the 2011 American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Hall of Fame.

Dunning, along with Liz Masakayan and Gerald 'Gerry' Matacotta will be honored at the December 15 ceremony, held in conjunction with the 2011 AVCA Annual Convention in San Antonio, Texas.

The induction of these three honorees will bring the total number of AVCA Hall of Fame honorees to 55 in its nine years of existence.

"This 2011 AVCA Hall of Fame class epitomizes what our association is all about," said AVCA Executive Director Kathy DeBoer, "a great coach in John Dunning, a prototype two-sport player in Liz Masakayan and a doggedly determined administrator in Gerry Matacotta. Each, in their own way, changed our thinking about our sport; John modeled for us how elite coaches succeed at every stop and every level, Liz reinforced for us that success is about heart not height, and Gerry showed us that growth is possible in the collegiate men's game if you understand the economics and demographics of the marketplace."

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 (nine) 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 the Round of 16. He 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 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. 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.

Prior to Dunning receiving news of the hall of fame induction, he was preparing his Stanford players for their 10-day trip to China, June 9-20.

Every four years, the NCAA allows a collegiate team to tour foreign countries during the summer, and on Thursday the Cardinal volleyball team, the coaching staff, and support staff, flew from San Francisco to Beijing, China. Once in Beijing, the team took an approximately six-hour bus ride to Weifang, China for its first stop on the tour.

Stanford will play three matches in Weifang and three matches in Beijing. It is the first time in school history that the Cardinal women's volleyball team will be traveling to China for a summer tour. The most recent trip abroad for the program was a European tour during the summer of 2006.

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