Pepperdine Men's Volleyball History
The men’s volleyball program played its inaugural season in 1971 under the direction of coach Moo Park.
Burt DeGroot inherited the head coaching position in 1973 and held the job for two years. Harlan Cohen took over in 1975 for two seasons and led Pepperdine to a share of the 1976 SCIVA title and a runner-up finish in the NCAA Championships.
Dunphy, who played for the Waves in 1972 and 1973 and then served as an assistant coach, became head coach in 1977 and led the Waves to a 15-5 mark. In 1978, Dunphy led the Waves to their second SCIVA co-championship and first-ever NCAA championship with a 21-4 overall record. Pepperdine defeated local power UCLA in five sets.
Pepperdine advanced to the 1983 and 1984 NCAA title matches only to come away as runner-up to crosstown rival UCLA. The Waves continued on their historic four-year run by winning NCAA titles in 1985 with Dunphy and 1986 under Rod Wilde. Both title-clinching victories were over USC.
After a brief three-year hiatus to focus his efforts on coaching the United States National Team to a gold medal at the 1988 Olympics Games, Dunphy returned in 1989 and brought the volleyball program back to prominence in 1992 with the school’s fourth NCAA title.
Pepperdine won its fifth and most recent national crown in 2005. The 1985 and 2005 teams both went 25-2, good for the best overall winning percentage (.926) in school history. The 2002 Waves won a school-record 29 matches.
In addition to its five titles, Pepperdine placed second at the NCAA Championships in 1976, 1983, 1984, 1998, 2002 and 2008*.
Pepperdine has had a representative competing in the Olympic Games for nine consecutive games. Four-time All-American Sean Rooney played in the 2008 and 2012 Olympics, helping the team win a gold medal in 2008. In 2016, Rooney’s former teammate and two-time All-American Fred Winters will compete for the Canadian National Team.
For the 2016 Olympics, Dunphy will serve in his seventh Olympic Games, this time as a scouting coach for the U.S. Women’s National Team. Assistant coach David Hunt also earned an assistant coaching position on the team, while volunteer coach Kayla Banwarth will compete as the starting libero.