Diana Hoffman learned to play volleyball in 1958 at Burbank Parks and Rec in a program designed to give young girls the chance to compete after softball season ended. That early introduction propelled her to become a women’s volleyball pioneer of the Olympic-era.
Diana quickly elevated her game to be among the best setters in the country. She won titles with LA Valley College from 1961-1963. A couple years later Diana led San Fernando Valley College, now Cal State Northridge, to the 1965 AIAW national championship.
Diana joined the powerhouse Long Beach Shamrocks in 1964 and continued with the team through 1976. She served as the Shamrocks captain all but her first and last years with the program. Along the way, Diana helped the Shamrocks win six USA Volleyball national titles over a seven-year period from 1964 to 1970. The only non-championship season was a second-place finish in 1968.
Diana was named USA Volleyball All-America first-team in 1965, second-team twice and honorable mention four times on Shamrock teams that were stacked with talent.
Diana’s success with the Shamrocks led her to compete on the U.S. Women’s National Team starting in 1964. She was named an alternate to both the 1964 and 1968 Olympic Games. In 1965, Diana was part of the USA roster touring Canada playing the host country and Russia. She and Team USA hosted Japan and Mexico during the 1966 and 1967 international seasons. She played for the red, white and blue on a tour of Mexico in 1966.
Diana served as head coach at Cal State Northridge from 1977-78 and earned induction into its Athletic Hall of Fame in 1981. She retired after 32 years as a middle school physical educator in the LA Unified Schools.