SEATTLE (Dec. 19, 2013) – John Kessel, USA Volleyball’s director of sport development, was inducted into the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Hall of Fame Thursday during the organization’s Jostens Coaches Award Banquet in Seattle.
“I am blessed to have everybody in this room who I think I are part of my volleyball family,” Kessel said. “I hope that the things we do together as family are collaborative and work together. I am going to challenge each other in one way and that is never be a child’s last coach. If you do that, you have really succeeded as a coach beyond your record.”
For over 40 years, Kessel has played an integral role in the development of the sport of volleyball both domestically and internationally. In 1995, Volleyball Magazine named him one of the 50 most important people in the sport in the past 100 years.
"It is hard for me to think of anyone who has dedicated more of their life to the growth of our sport as an educator, clinician, and generally worked to assist at almost every level of volleyball across both disciplines, both genders, with disabled and sitting volleyball throughout the country," USA Volleyball CEO Doug Beal said. "I am quite confident there is not an individual who has touched more parts of our sport in more parts of our country for a longer period time than John Kessel."
Widely regarded as one of the best international instructors in the world, Kessel has conducted seminars in all 50 U.S. states and in over 50 countries. He is also an accomplished author, having written a half dozen books for USA Volleyball, including the IMPACT coaching manual, the Junior Olympic Volleyball Program Guide and Minivolley 4 Youth. Kessel has published numerous articles and authors the popular Grow the Game blog.
As part of his acceptance speech, Kessel advised the other coaches attending the induction ceremony to not be a child’s last coach, meaning that athlete continues in the game and furthering their abilities.
Kessel has received a plethora of awards over the course of his distinguished career: USA Volleyball's Honorable Mention in 1978 and 1986, the Harry Wilson Distinguished International Service award in 2004 and the George J. Fisher Leader in Volleyball in 2006. He was selected as a 2007 recipient of the Sport Ethics Fellow by the Institute for International Sport.