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Pepperdine Honored with U.S. Olympic Achievement Award
Pepperdine University is being honored by the U.S. Olympic Committee with the U.S. Olympic Achievement Award for its contributions in producing more than 40 student-athletes and coaches who have achieved success in the games since 1956. Men’s volleyball coach Marv Dunphy is being individually honored with the distinction.
The new U.S. Olympic Achievement Award will be presented every two years following the Olympic Games in an effort to emphasize the importance of American schools in the country's Olympic pipeline. Two versions of the award will be given: an actual medal that will be presented to each institution’s athletics director, and a presentation piece that may be showcased in the athletics department.
Dunphy, now in his 28th year at the helm of the storied Pepperdine men’s volleyball program, was one of five NCAA volleyball coaches to be individually recognized. He has had a long, successful coaching tenure with the U.S. National Team. The American squad maintained a No. 1 world ranking and compiled an impressive overall record of 197-31 (.864) during his time as coach. Additionally, the team won every major international tournament, including a gold medal at the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul, South Korea.
Since then, Dunphy has been an assistant coach at the 2000 Olympics and a consultant coach at the 1996, 2004, and 2008 Olympics.
Nineteen of his Pepperdine volleyball players have represented the U.S. National Team, with 10 taking part in the Olympics. Most recently, Sean Rooney (2002-05) took home the gold for the U.S. at the 2008 Games in Beijing. During the 2004 cycle in Athens, outside hitter Kevin Barnett (1996-97) was a member of the U.S. National Team that placed fourth.
In addition to Rooney’s gold medal in men’s volleyball, three other Pepperdine alumni took home hardware in 2008. Water polo’s Merrill Moses (1995-98) and Jesse Smith (2001-05) captured the silver medal in men’s water polo (under head coach and Pepperdine all-time great Terry Schroeder), while Simon Aspelin (1994-97) won the silver medal in doubles tennis for his home country of Sweden.
Others involved in the last two summer Olympic games as an athlete or a coach include Dain Blanton (1991-94, men’s volleyball), Brian Goorjian (1974-76, men’s basketball), Ryan Radmanovich (1993, baseball), Nicole Sanderson (1994-97, women’s volleyball), and Troy Tanner (1983-87, men’s volleyball).
There were 43 schools that produced medal-winning coaches or athletes in the past Olympic cycle. Other schools in the region that share this honor with Pepperdine include UC Berkeley, UC Irvine, San Diego State, Saint Mary’s College, Stanford, UCLA, and USC. In addition, 38 coaches and 32 student-athletes nationwide were recognized individually.
Colleges and universities were recognized based on two criteria: having a current student-athlete who was part of a medal-winning performance or a coach who was a credentialed member of the U.S. Olympic Team delegation and his/her athlete or team won a medal.
For more information about this award and a full list of honorees, visit the Pepperdine Athletics Web site.