News and Events
Dunphy, Rooney Honored as Part of U.S. Olympic Team of the Year
In early February, the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) named the 2008 Olympic men's volleyball team as "USOC Team of the Year." The gold medal-winning team included Pepperdine alumnus Sean Rooney and Waves' head coach Marv Dunphy.
The team made a perfect 8-0 run for the gold medal, defeating Brazil in four games in the Olympic final in Beijing. The run was all the more amazing considering the fact that the team’s head coach, Hugh McCutcheon, missed several matches while dealing with the aftermath of a violent attack in Beijing that left his father-in-law dead and his mother-in-law injured. The U.S. stayed together in dealing with the tragedy, making the gold medal all the more remarkable.
This was a first Olympic appearance for Rooney, a four-time All-American (2002-05) for the Waves. Rooney was named National Player of the Year and the MVP of the NCAA Championships in 2005 when Pepperdine captured the national title.
In Beijing, Rooney came off the bench in games one and two as the U.S. defeated Brazil, 20-25, 25-22, 25-21, and 25-23. His gold medal is the first won by a Pepperdine alumnus since Dain Blanton won the 2000 beach volleyball event.
Dunphy, who is in his 26th season as head coach at Pepperdine, served as a consultant for the 2008 team. He is a long-time part of the U.S. staff, serving as head coach of the U.S. team that won a gold medal at the 1988 Seoul Olympics. He was an assistant coach in 1976 (although the team didn’t qualify) and in the 2000 Sydney OIympics, and consultant coach at the 1996 Atlanta and 2004 Athens Olympics.
In extending the award to the men's 2008 team, the USOC wrote, "As a team, your resilience and tenacity in the face of extraordinary adversity is truly an example of the power of teamwork. Your performance was not only a defining moment of the 2008 Olympic Games, but also a defining moment in sports history."
Click here for more information on Pepperdine athletes in the 2008 Olympics.