News and Events
2013 Pepperdine Athletics Hall of Fame
Two legendary coaches, two Olympians, and a two-time National Player of the Year have earned their places in the Pepperdine University Athletics Hall of Fame. The class of 2013 will include current head coaches Gualberto Escudero (women's tennis) and Nina Matthies (women's volleyball), as well as former student-athletes Brad Keenan (men's volleyball), Marcos Leite (men's basketball), and Merrill Moses (men's water polo). In addition, longtime friends of the program Lou and Kathy Colombano will be inducted for their distinguished service and long-time support of the athletics department. This year's group will join 100 individuals, 14 teams, and eight special achievement recipients that have already been enshrined since the Pepperdine Athletics Hall of Fame was established in 1980.
Note: Due to a professional beach volleyball commitment, Brad Keenan has requested to delay his induction. He will be inducted at a future date.
The ceremony will be held on Sunday, Oct. 20, in Firestone Fieldhouse. Check-in and a reception will begin at 5:15 p.m., with dinner and the awards presentation at 6 p.m. Tickets are $60 per plate and can be purchased by contacting Jamil Macias at 310-506-4935. The deadline to reserve tickets is Friday, Oct. 11.
"The Hall of Fame ceremony is one of our annual highlights and we look forward to this fall's ceremony with great anticipation as we honor another deserving group of Waves," says director of athletics Steve Potts. "These coaches, former student-athletes, and supporters of the program have added so much to the legacy of the Department of Athletics and its tradition of success and we are pleased to be able to recognize them."
- Gualberto Escudero, Women's Tennis head coach, will be heading into the 2013-14 season in his 37th season as the Waves' head coach. Escudero has earned WCC Coach of the Year honors and the ITA West Regional Coach of the Year award three times each. He is a Pepperdine graduate ('72) who starred on the men's tennis team for the three seasons (1968-69 through 1970-71). Escudero was a finalist in the 1969 WCAC singles tournament and won the doubles tournament with John Lovelace, and the Waves won two conference titles during his tenure. Heecame coach in 1977-78 and is now the second-winningest women's tennis coach in NCAA history with a current record of 632-239 (.658). His teams have made 30 NCAA Championships appearances, including 26 in a row. Under his guidance, the Waves reached the NCAA quarterfinals on four occasions and his players have been named the All-Americans 29 times. The Waves have won either WCC regular-season or tournament titles in 24 of the last 26 years.
- Lou and Kathy Colombano are long-time supporters of Pepperdine and its athletics program. In addition to attending many home competitions over the course of the year, they also travel semi-regularly with the men's basketball team (including the team's last foreign trip to Italy). Lou has served on the Athletics Board since its founding and served as its chair. He and Kathy have also been supporters of other areas of the University, including the Center for the Arts, Seaver Board of Visitors and Crest Advisory Board.
- Brad Keenan, Men's Volleyball, twice earned AVCA National Player of the Year honors (2002 and 2003) and played four seasons as a middle blocker (2000-03). Keenan is a four-time All-American (twice on the first team and twice on the second team) and also a four-time All-MPSF selection (twice on the first team, once on the second team and once on the third team). He helped the Waves to three NCAA Tournament appearances and was on the NCAA All-Tournament Team in 2002. Keenan still holds the school career records for blocks (745) and service aces (187), as well as single-season records in the rally-scoring era in the same categories. The Waves won three regular-season MPSF titles and the 2002 MPSF Tournament during his tenure. Keenan has played professional beach volleyball on the AVP Tour since 2006 and on the FIVB Tour in recent years. He was the AVP's Rookie of the Year in 2006 and its Most Improved Player in 2007, and he ranked second on the 2012 tour along with fellow Wave John Mayer.
- Marcos Leite, Men's Basketball, is a three-time Olympian for his native Brazil (1972, 1980 and 1984). The 6-foot-10 center who played three seasons for the Waves (1973-74 through 1975-76) earned All-American honors in 1976 and was named the WCC's Player of the Year. An All-WCC first team selection in 1975 and 1976, and second team in 1974, Leite became 1974 WCC Freshman of the Year. He ended his career #6 on Pepperdine's career scoring chart (1,119 points, now #30) and still ranks #3 all-time with a career scoring average of 18.7 points. Leite helped the 1976 squad win the WCC title and a first-round game in the NCAA Tournament and left school after his junior season to turn professional. He was drafted by the Portland Trail Blazers in the 10th round of the 1976 NBA Draft. Though he never played in the NBA, Leite had a long career playing professional basketball in Brazil and Italy before retiring in 1989.
- Nina Matthies, Women's Volleyball, has been the women's volleyball coach at Pepperdine for the past 30 seasons (since 1983). She has a record of 575-332 (.634) and has taken Pepperdine to the NCAA Tournament 20 times. Under her leadership, Waves women's volleyball reached the Elite Eight in 2002 and 2011 and the regional semifinals in 1998, 1999, 2001, 2003, and 2005. Since the WCC added women's volleyball in 1985, Matthies has a league-best 11 WCC titles and has set a league record by winning 47 consecutive conference matches from 1988-92. Matthies has led Pepperdine to final top-10 rankings five times, and 14 times in the top 25. The 10-time WCC Coach of the Year also leads Pepperdine's newest program, women's sand volleyball, which achieved AVCA national championship in the sport's inaugural season in 2012 and to a second-place finish in 2013. Matthies received the AVCA's National Coach of the Year award in 2013.
- Merrill Moses, Men's Water Polo, a two-time Olympian and a three-time All-American started as a goalkeeper for the U.S. in both the 2008 and 2012 Olympics (winning a silver medal at the former). Moses was part of gold-medal winning teams at the 2007 and 2011 Pan American Games and played professionally in Croatia, Italy and Spain and with the New York Athletic Club (he was named MVP of the 2012 USAWP Men's National Championships). He played four seasons (1995-98) for the Waves, helping Pepperdine to its only NCAA championship in the sport in 1997, sharing tri-Most Outstanding Player honors at the NCAA Championships. Moses made the All-American first team in 1997, second team in 1998, and honorable mention in 1996. The 1997 co-MPSF Player of the Year also earned four-time All-MPSF honors. He returned to Pepperdine as the interim head coach in 2012 and will be an assistant coach in 2013.