Volleyball is more than just a sport. It is a combination of people working together in a tight team to achieve that one goal. It is not only about the team itself on the court but about the people on the sides: the audience, the fans, family, friends, even the rival team members and most importantly-the Coaches. The ones who help make them who they are, to bring them up to the standard the NCAA Women’s Volleyball Championship requires. And John Dunning has done this five times and more. He has been called one of the hardest working yet one of the most humble Coaches to have even graced the courts of volleyball.
After 32 years of life on the volleyball courts John Dunning has decided to retire and he gave the announcement on Monday 9 January 2017. He was the Head Coach of Women’s Volleyball at Stanford University and he managed to help ten teams to the national championships. As well as the fact that his teams never missed the postseasons (and winning 77.1 percent of them) and he helped 12 teams (half were from his 16 Stanford squads) to the Final Four.
His reputation will precede him with him being a three time Regional Coach of the Year, a four time National Coach of the Year and a seven time Conference Coach of the Year and he coached seven national players for one year alone. That was while he was at Stanford University but before becoming the Head Coach at Stanford University he was the Head Couch at the University of the Pacific. He worked with the University of Pacific for 16 years and Stanford University for the same amount of time. While at the University of Pacific he helped the Tigers reach the NCAA Championship not once but twice; for four years he was crowned Big West Coach of the Year as well as took home five Big West Conference titles. And we should not forget his 16 NCAA tournaments bids in a row. John Dunning was inducted to the Hall of Fame that is at the University of the Pacific.
Dunning is 66 years old and he it is believed that he would like to spend more time with his family and grandchildren like any other grandparent would. He “loves volleyball for volleyball” and even though he has said that all is good, he “just felt like it was time” to retire. He ended the season and his career on a high note with a NCAA title win last year (he won two NCAA titles while he worked at the University of the Pacific in 1985 and 1986 and this is his third win for Stanford University the first to being in 2001 and 2004).
A very inspirational man whose love for volleyball from the day he started in 1973 to now and beyond is a rare sight to behold. He has influenced and touches the lives of not only his teams on the courts but all the people on the sides as well. Now, that John Dunning has some free time maybe he can play a round of online slots, do some jogging or even watch a movie, in between teaching his grandchildren how to play volleyball and sharing his love of it to them, of course.