COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Feb. 22, 2022) – Dr. Marv Dunphy likes to say that he has been in the right place at the right time through his volleyball coaching career.
Others might say he was the right person in the right place at the right time.
Dunphy will become the 52nd winner of the Harold T. Friermood “Frier” Award, which recognizes longtime significant contributions to volleyball, at the USA Volleyball Hall of Fame ceremony at the Dorothy C. Boyce Banquet on May 25 in Orlando, Fla. The Frier Award is considered USA Volleyball’s highest honor.
To purchase tickets for the event, visit 2022 USA Volleyball Hall of Fame.
With USA Volleyball, Dunphy is best known for taking over as head coach of the U.S. Men’s National Team from Doug Beal following the team’s first-ever Olympic gold medal win in 1984.
Dunphy coached the team from 1985-88. During that time, it won gold at the 1985 World Cup, the 1986 World Championship, the 1987 Pan American Games and the 1988 Olympic Games.
“The pressure I felt was not to mess it up,” Dunphy said. “Only a few guys went from ‘84 to ‘88, but those guys were special – Karch Kiraly, Craig Buck, Steve Timmons, Dave Saunders. That’s a pretty good group to start with. I was fortunate to work with several players who were the best to ever play our game. It is a tremendous honor to be selected for the Frier Award.
“I was really pleased and happy for Doug because he had carried such a big load and had done such a good job. I wanted to make him proud.”
Dunphy took a leave of absence as head coach for Pepperdine’s men’s volleyball team to coach the U.S. Men. He returned to Pepperdine after 1988 and served as its head coach until retiring after the 2017 season.
During that time, he has also served as a scout or assistant coach for USA Volleyball at every Olympic Games since 1988.
Most recently, he worked with Karch Kiraly and his staff at the Tokyo Olympic Games in 2021 as the U.S. Women won their first-ever gold medal. In 2008, he was with the U.S. Men’s staff as that team won Olympic gold.
Dunphy credits coaching legend Carl McGown with giving him his first opportunity to work with a U.S. national team.
Dunphy had traveled to Dayton, Ohio, to work at a volleyball camp. The U.S. Men’s Team happened to be training at Wright State University and McGown invited Dunphy to help. McGown later asked Dunphy to be his assistant coach at the 1975 Pan American Games in Mexico City.
“When I first started coaching, a player would ask why we do something a certain way and I would answer, “that’s how the Russians do it,’” Dunphy said.
“Through Carl and Doug and (coach) Jim Coleman, I learned the why. I learned how to train, to teach and to coach the game.”
In 1992, Dunphy was named a George J. Fisher Leader in Volleyball. In 1994, he was inducted into the International Volleyball Hall of Fame. In 1999, he was named the Donald S. Shondell All-Time Great Coach – Contemporary.
He has also been inducted into the AVCA and Pepperdine Athletics Halls of Fame.
Dunphy said his coaching strength was tailoring his style to fit each individual.
“My strength would not be trying to impact a group top down,” he said. “It would be working with that individual. One size does not fit all. Everyone needs a pat on the back, some just need it lower than others.”