Wendelboe Honored with USAV’s Frier Award

May 26, 2011, 11:56 p.m. (ET)

Bill Kauffman
Associate Director, Communications
Phone: 719-228-6800
E-Mail: bill.kauffman@usav.org

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (May 26, 2011) – USA Volleyball proudly announced Fred Wendelboe as its 2011 Harold T. Friermood “Frier” Award recipient, the organization’s most prestigious honor, at the 66th Annual Dorothy Boyce Awards and Recognition Banquet Thursday night at the Sheraton Dallas Downtown Hotel.

“This is the most significant honor of my life to join the other distinguished indiviudals who have won this Frier award,” Wendelboe said.

The banquet, presented by Molten and co-sponsored by Mizuno, is one of the signature events during USA Volleyball’s Annual Meetings taking place May 24-27 in Dallas.

The Dr. Harold T. Friermood “Frier” Award, named in honor of the organization’s second president (1952-55), capped off the evening of awards. The Frier Award is presented to an individual for long-time (minimum of 30 years), significant service to the sport of volleyball with at least 15 years of leadership positions at the national level.

Wendelboe was a major catalyst for volleyball growth in the southeastern United States. When the two-state Carolina Region was first established in 1981, he was named the first commissioner and served in that capacity until 1996. During his tenure, the Region spawned a new region, the Palmetto Regional Volleyball Association.

Wendelboe continued to serve the Carolina Region as a special advisor and past president through 2008 when the Region's Board of Directors asked him to serve a second tenure as president. In 1992, USA Volleyball recognized his contributions as a commissioner and presented him with the "Doc" Booth Commissioner's Award.

Wendelboe’s local contributions were not limited to the Region. He was the women's head volleyball coach at Wake Forest University from 1981 to 1986, followed by a tenure as assistant coach from 1996 to 2000. In 1985 he founded and became the program director and head coach of the Triad Junior Volleyball Club. In 2007, the Triad Junior Volleyball Club merged with another club to become Set Point Volleyball Club and he was selected club director and head coach.

In 1992, Wendelboe was elected by the Regional Operations Division as a ROD representative to the USA Volleyball Board of Directors. He was elected as USA Volleyball’s corporate secretary in 1996 and was later appointed vice president of the Regional Operations Division in 2000 and in 2004 as a special advisor to the Executive Committee. While serving as secretary, one of Fred’s duties was the supervising officer of the Structure and Function Committee. Following this assignment, he was appointed a voting member of the Committee from 2000 to 2008. As a result of this experience, he was asked to serve as one of three individuals to write the Governing Documents for the newly reorganized Corporation.

During the 1992-1996 Olympic Quadrennial, Wendelboe served on the Board’s Vision Committee under executive vice president Becky Howard, which set the stage for the Corporation’s operation in the next four years, which Howard presided over as president.

All-in-all, Wendelboe served on the Board in various capacities for 16 years, on Executive Council for eight years and on and the Executive Committee for 12 years. In 2008, current USA Volleyball Board Chairman David Schreff invited him to serve as the Board’s recording secretary.

Recognizing his many and long-time contributions to the sport and the corporation, USA Volleyball presented him with the George J. Fisher Leader in Volleyball award in 1994.

Wendelboe’s leadership extended to the referee stand as his officiating career spanned nearly 30 years. He refereed sanctioned competition both locally and nationally, as well as collegiate matches. He received his USA Volleyball National rating in 1983 and was recognized for his outstanding performance with the Silver Whistle award. He retired as a USA National Referee in 2002. In 2007, he was honored with the Wilbur H. Peck Referee Emeritus award. His significant assignments include: line judge at the 1987 Pan American Games in Indianapolis; Field of Play Marshall at the Centennial Olympic Games in Atlanta in 1996; and competition manager for volleyball in the 1999 Special Olympic World Summer Games in Chapel Hill.

Wendelboe has been involved with many aspects of the sport in numerous capacities on committees and commissions in the Regional Operations, Youth and Junior, and National Championships Divisions as well as at the corporate level. Since 2003, he has been an active member of the Corporation’s event arbitrator team. Wendelboe is the first and incumbent president of the USA Volleyball Foundation and is well known for his efforts to raise funds for the Foundation at the Annual Meetings.

Boyce Banquet Award Presentations
Harold T. Friermood “Frier” Award – Fred Wendelboe
All-Time Great Players – John Alstrom, Jack Henn
All-Time Great Coaches – Mike Hebert, Ruth Nelson
George J. Fisher Leader in Volleyball – Steve Crane, Russ Rose
James E. Coleman USA National Team Award – Chuck Erbe

Other 2011 USA Volleyball Awards Not Presented at Boyce Banquet
Jonathan Reeser Sports Science Award: James Coleman
Glen G. Davies Referee Service Award: Donnie Goodwin
Gold Whistle: To be announced Friday
Silver Whistle: To be announced Friday
Gold Pen: To be announced Friday
Silver Pen: To be announced Friday
Joseph B. Sharpless Arbitrator Award: Christena Clauss
Viggo O. Nelson National Communications Award (Best Region Website): Chesapeake Region
Junior Outstanding Program Director: Dave Peixoto
Junior Outstanding Male Coach: Dave Calteux
Junior Outstanding Female Coach: Jeanne Calteux
Junior Outstanding Parent Service Award: Courtney and Keith Lindner
Junior Outstanding Clinician: Donna Hill

John Alstrom – All-Time Great Player
John Alstrom made his international debut in the 1966 FIVB World Championship in Czechoslovakia. After leading an unseeded Fresno Volleyball Club to the 1967 USA Volleyball National Championship gold-medal, he earned another gold with the U.S. Men at the Pan American Games.

The following year, Alstrom joined forces with John Lowell and Jon Stanley on the Outrigger Canoe Club squad that won AAUs and finished second at the USA Volleyball Nationals. Then it was off to the 1968 Olympics, where the USA had its greatest win to date defeating defending champion Russia.

After the Olympics, Alstrom left the National Team, but volleyball did not disappear. He moved to the Los Angeles area and won the gold medal with the L.A. YMCA at the 1969 Nationals, second place in 1970 with the Balboa Bay Club, silver in 1971 with Chart House and another gold in 1972 with Chart House. In his second year with Chart House, he was named the National’s most valuable player.

In 1975, Alstrom was drafted to play for the L.A. Stars of the new IVA Pro Volleyball League. The L.A. Stars won the IVA Championship the first season, but he hung up his pro sneakers for good. Being a former pro, he had to sit out some years until eligible to play in the Senior Division in 1978. Since that time he has played on and off in the Senior Division. For the last 15 years he has played with the Legends of Volleyball Club, winning numerous USA Volleyball Open National Championships and World Master Games Championships. And he still continues to play today.

Alstrom has been inducted into the Fresno High School Wall of Champions, Central Valley YMCA Hall of Fame, BYU Volleyball Hall of Fame and the Fresno Athletic Hall of Fame.

Jack Henn – All-Time Great Player
John Thomas Henn, later nicknamed Jack, quickly adapted to the beach lifestyle after arriving in Huntington Beach looking after his younger sister Jane when not in school. However, he was asked to join San Diego State University’s first-ever men's volleyball Team in 1961. The team would compete at the USA Volleyball Far Western Championships where it finished a respectable third.

In the summer of 1962 Jack and his partner Bill Ryan joined the Southern California beach volleyball circuit and competed from San Diego to Santa Barbara. The beach pair eventually attained their “AAA” rating, the highest competitive rating on the beach.

Following a third-place finish and MVP honor at the Collegiate Nationals in 1964, Jack made the decision to join the prestigious Hollywood "Y' where he could practice and play with the best. He made the drive from San Diego to Hollywood twice a week to practice and every other Saturday for tournaments throughout the summer. The move paid off as his Comets team finished third in the Open Division, second in the Olympic Trials and Jack was selected to the Olympic Team as an alternate and second team All-American. In 1965 Jack competed on the USA Team in matches against Mexico and Canada.

After Hollywood “Y” terminated its program, Sand’n Sea Club of Santa Monica moved to the forefront. Jack, playing with his idols Mike Bright and Ron Lang, helped Sand’n Sea win the 1966 National Open title. He was named first-team All-American and later played on the USA’s FIVB World Championship team in Czechoslovakia.

From 1966 until 1970, Jack was named Collegiate All-American, Open Division All-American four times, National Open Champion with Sand' n Sea, Westside JCC, LA "Y' and Chart House, captained the Pan American Games gold medalists while being named to the Pan American Games All-Star team. He started every match and served as floor captain during the 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico City.

As testament to Jack's versatility, he was named All-American in 1966 and 1967 as an outside hitter and was named best setter at the 1968 USA Volleyball Open National Championships. He was ranked seventh in all-around statistics at the Olympic Games.

Jack captained the USA Team at the “Cinco Continentes” Tournament in Uruguay in 1969 and suffered a severe knee injury. A month later he and John Alstrom led their LA 'Y' team to the USA Volleyball Open National Championships Open Division title without losing a game.

Mike Hebert - Donald S. Shondell All-Time Great Coach – Contemporary Division
Coaching volleyball has been a labor of love for Mike Hebert, and he recognized that fact in his retirement press conference last December after 35 seasons coaching college volleyball.

Hebert walked away from the game with a 952-392 record, ranking fourth on the NCAA Division I women’s volleyball victory list. He is the only coach in NCAA Division I women’s volleyball to ever lead two different programs from the same conference to the national semifinal round.

During his 15 years with the University of Minnesota volleyball program, Hebert led the team to 14 NCAA tournament appearances, eight NCAA regional trips, four NCAA regional finals, three national semifinal berths and one NCAA title match in 2004.

Overall, Hebert coached 28 seasons in the Big Ten, including 13 years with the University of Illinois program. He led the Illini to a 323-127 record and two NCAA semifinal round appearances in 1987 and 1988. His Big Ten career includes Coach of the Year five times. Hebert was named Volleyball Magazine’s National Coach of the Year in 2003 after leading Minnesota to the NCAA semifinals, and the AVCA National Coach of the Year in 1985 while with Illinois.

Hebert’s college coaching career started in 1976 at the University of Pittsburgh. During his four seasons at Pittsburgh, he compiled a 129-52 record and four appearances in the AIAW East Regional. However, in the last two seasons at Pittsburgh, he doubled as the men’s volleyball coach, posting a 60-21 record. Hebert moved on to University of New Mexico, posting a 60-57 record in three seasons before taking the Illinois position.

Hebert is the only coach to have 300 wins at two different NCAA Division I programs, and the only coach to bring four different programs to a national postseason tournament (AIAW or NCAA).

Hebert has also assembled an all-star list of talented players during his college coaching career, as he has produced 17 All-Americans. Included in that list are two-time Olympian Lindsey Berg, 2008 Olympian Nicole Branagh and U.S. National Team players Mary Eggers and Cassie Busse.

Hebert also succeeded in the international realm. He served as the head coach for the U.S. Women’s Team at the 1987 World University Games in Yugoslavia. Mike traveled to the 1989 Canada Cup and 1990 Cuba Cup as part of a series of assignments with the U.S. National Team. In 1991, he pulled double duty coaching teams at both the World University Games in England and the Pan American Games in Cuba. In 2003, he led the U.S. squad to the bronze medal at the 2003 Pan American Games.

Hebert was inducted into the American Volleyball Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2006. He also served as the organization’s president from 1985 to 1988.

Ruth Nelson – Bertha Lucas All-Time Great Coach – Pioneer Division
Ruth Nelson has served over 40 years as an innovator, teacher, marketer, motivator and visionary putting athletes first. She started her collegiate coaching career at the ripe young age of 21, compiling a 98-22 record with George Williams College from 1970 to 1972. During that time, she was completing her master of science degree under another legendary coach, Dr. James Coleman.

After playing for the U.S. Women’s National Team from 1972 to 1974, Nelson resumed coaching at the University of Houston. In the Cougar program, she was able to develop several Olympians who later went to become USA Volleyball All-Time Great Athletes, including the late Flo Hyman as a Volleyball Hall of Fame inductee. With the likes of Flo, Rose Magers-Powell, Rita Crockett and Sherryl Moore, Houston produced a 290-84 record with Nelson leading the squad from 1974 to 1981. At Houston, she helped instill diversity in the sport, being one of the first collegiate coaches to actively recruit black athletes.

While coaching at Houston, Nelson continued her playing career with the U.S. Women’s National Team in 1975 and 1976 under the program leadership of Arie Selinger. However, her involvement in USA Volleyball gradually moved toward coaching as she served as an assistant coach for the program in 1976 and 1977, including the NORCECA Championship. Ruth served as the head coach for the U.S. team that finished fifth at the 1979 World University Games in Mexico, along with leading the South and Midwest teams at the 1979 Olympic Festival.

Nelson would later hold collegiate head jobs at LSU from 1981 to 1985 and University of Iowa from 1989 to 1991. At LSU, she posted a 128-98 record. While at LSU, Ruth also took a U.S. Women’s Junior Team on a tour of Europe in 1984, winning the silver medal at an event in Italy, going 3-0 in Finland and winning gold at an event in Germany. During her time at Iowa, she led the Hawkeyes to a first-ever NCAA tournament berth. Between her stops at LSU and Iowa, Nelson also served as the head coach for the Dallas Belles in the Major League Volleyball Professional League.

However, college and international coaching with USA Volleyball were only parts of how Nelson gave back to the sport of volleyball. In 1986, she founded Louisiana Volleyball Club as a not-for-profit organization promoting volleyball opportunities. The club provided grants for low-income inner-city athletes wishing to pursue an education utilizing their volleyball abilities. Through this program, Nelson reached over 500 inner-city black youth (girls and boys) in the Dallas-Fort Worth area alone. Nelson continues to operate the club as president and CEO with promotional support from Olympians Rose Magers-Powell and Danielle Scott-Arruda.

After having opportunities of gaining such meaningful experiences under the tutelage of others, she expanded her horizons with Special Olympics. She established the sport of volleyball within the Special Olympics movement and became its’ first director of volleyball in 1985. A significant accomplishment was the writing of player development and coaching manuals. The latter was recently incorporated into an online coaching module approved by Special Olympics in 2007.

Nelson’s full volleyball resume goes well beyond her coaching and playing career and has been honored in other ways. In 1996, she was honored with USA Volleyball’s George J. Fisher Leader in Volleyball award. Two years earlier she was awarded USA Volleyball’s Meritorious Service Award for her contributions to Special Olympics. In 2007, Nelson was honored with the “Texas Toast,” a prestigious statewide sport recognition.

Steve Crane - George J. Fisher Leader in Volleyball Award
C.L. Crane, or Steve to those who know him, has become a fixture at USA Volleyball Open National Championships as an official. But his dedication to the sport goes well beyond the whistle and scorer’s table.

Crane’s first exposure to volleyball was in a single adults church club in Houston. In the early 1980s, he created a men’s team from players at the church and started playing in B division matches before working up to A division. In his very first tournament, he learned an important lesson – don’t yell at the referee. He received a yellow card in return. As nature would have it, he then became a referee.

Crane was certified as a regional referee in 1981 and later became a regional scorekeeper in 1988. He has officiated at every USA Volleyball Open National Championship since 1988. He has been part of 16 final round matches at the event starting with a referee assignment in the Men’s Masters gold-medal match in 1989. Crane took part in nine gold-medal matches with six as referee. In 1992, he was a linesman for the Women’s Open gold-medal match and the men’s silver-medal match. In addition, Crane officiated at the 1986 Olympic Festival.

Crane became a National referee in 1988. He was later certified as an international qualified scorekeeper in 1995 after earning national scorekeeper recognition in 1994.

Crane has served as scorekeeper chair of the Lone Star Region since the close of the 1993 after serving as assistant commissioner of the North Texas Region from 1990 to 1992. During his time in this position, he has developed one of the most outstanding Scorekeepers Development Programs in USA Volleyball. Thanks to his efforts, the Lone Star Region boasted 102 scorekeeper clinics in the 2010 season. Its membership has one international scorekeeper, 14 national scorekeeper, 14 regional scorekeepers, 63 provisional scorekeepers and over 1,100 junior volleyball scorekeepers.

Crane has also served as a member of the Lone Star Region Board of Directors, and as the Region’s webmaster.

During his career, Crane has taken an active interest in the Special Olympics. He designed the score sheets for the 2008 and 2010 Special Olympics National Games, then was asked to create the score sheets for the 2011 Special Olympics World Games in Athens.

Among his legacies to the game, Crane designed the current USA Volleyball official scoresheet and assisted in the creation of the last several official’s patch designs. He also served on the committee to design the USA Volleyball National Officials’ Database.

Crane has been recognized with the Viggo O. Nelson Web site award in 2001 and the Edward P. Lauten Scorekeeper Award in 2003.

Russ Rose - George J. Fisher Leader in Volleyball
Russ Rose continues to set the bar higher in his unprecedented coaching career leading the Penn State University women’s volleyball program in which he passes along both confidence and character to his players.

Since taking over as head coach of the Penn State program in 1979, Rose has led the Nittany Lions to a 1,033-164 record in 32 seasons. He holds an .863 winning percentage, tops among all active NCAA Division I coaches. He is one of three NCAA Division I coaches to win at least 1,000 matches, which has included 24 season with at least 30 wins and no fewer than 22 victories in 32 years.

Along the way, Rose and the Nittany Lions have ended their seasons five times holding the NCAA Division I Women’s Volleyball Championship trophy. Penn State won its first title in 1999 and after seven years away from the national semifinals, it has won an unprecedented four consecutive national titles and will shoot for a fifth straight title in 2011. Other than the Nittany Lions, no other NCAA Division I school has won more than two consecutive titles.

During its four straight titles, Penn State compiled an unprecedented 102-match win streak from 2007 to 2009 spanning two undefeated seasons. At one point during the 2008 season, the squad won an NCAA record 111 consecutive sets before dropping its only two sets of the year in the national semifinal match.

Rose shies away from personal accolades, but deserved recognition still finds him. Among his notable honors received are the USA Volleyball All-Time Great Coach Award in 2005 and induction into the American Volleyball Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2007. Rose has been named AVCA Division I National Coach of the Year four times, including the first repeat award winner in 2007 and 2008. He has mentored 69 All-Americans during his time at Penn State, including at least one selection in 31 of his 32 seasons in Happy Valley forming a lasting program legacy.

Rose has also fared well on the international stage. In 1989, he was an assistant coach with the U.S. Men's National Team for an exhibition series with Canada and the Soviet Union. As part of his work with the Maccabiah Games, he has been inducted into the National Jewish Sports Hall of Fame. Russ won bronze medals as an assistant coach of the U.S. Women's Team in the 1982 National Sports Festival and as the East women's head coach at the 1983 Festival.

In 1990, Rose worked with members of the U.S. Men's National and Developmental Teams during training camp in San Diego. In 1993, he assisted in the U.S. men's matches with Canada and the women's team against China. He also assisted with the U.S. Men as they prepared for the 2000 Olympics.

Rose, an instructor in USA Volleyball’s Coaching Accreditation Program, has lent his leadership to the sport in ways other than wins and titles. He was a member of the NCAA Division I Volleyball Committee for six years and the NCAA representative to the USA Volleyball Rules Committee. Russ is an active clinician across the United States and in Puerto Rico. Rose has previously served as a national referee, evaluator and state director for volleyball for the Special Olympics.

Nittany Lions players are not the only ones to have benefited from Rose’s tutelage. His knowledge of the game has been passed down to future players as more than 25 past Nittany Lions are currently within the college coaching fraternity and many others coaching at the junior club level.

Chuck Erbe - James E. Coleman National Team Award
Chuck Erbe was a pioneering collegiate women’s volleyball coach who has provided a significant contribution to the USA National Teams through four decades of service.

Erbe led the U.S. Women National Team in the 1974 FIVB World Championship held in Mexico City. He would later lead the United States to back-to-back titles in the Pacific Rim Junior Championships in 1975 and 1976. During the 1975 Pacific Rim Junior Championships, the Americans defeated Japan for the first time at any level of international competition.

Erbe later moved up the ladder to serve as an assistant coach for the U.S. Women’s National Team in 1979. After the U.S. boycott of the 1980 Olympic Games, he resumed his international coaching career by leading the United States women’s team in the 1981 World University Games in Bucharest, Romania.

From 1984 until 2004, Erbe served on the U.S. National Team Review Committee. At various times, he was an advisor to the U.S. Women’s National Team staff. In 1997, Erbe spent 10 days in Colorado Springs working with the National Team in the first year of the 2000 Olympic Games quadrennial.

Erbe’s involvement with the USA National Teams and USA Volleyball helped define his career away from the international scene.

As a collegiate volleyball coach, Chuck held a 554-261-3 record during a 24-year career. In the first half of his career, he led the University of Southern California to a 310-121-3 record. Erbe helped the Trojans to the AIAW Championship titles in 1976, 1977 and 1980, followed by the first-ever NCAA women’s volleyball championship in 1981. Overall, USC advanced to the AIAW or NCAA Tournament in 11 of 12 seasons with Erbe leading the program.

Erbe’s 1977 USC squad, which compiled a perfect 38-0 record, included six All-Americans and is still considered by many to be the best collegiate volleyball team ever assembled with five individuals who made the 1980 Olympic Games roster. The team consisted of Olympians Carolyn Becker, Debbie Green Vargas, Debbie Landreth Brown, Terry Place and Sue Woodstra.

After his tenure at USC, Erbe moved on to Michigan State University where he served for a dozen years until his retirement in 2004, compiling a 244-140 record and putting the Spartan program on the volleyball map. He led Michigan State to 10 consecutive trips to the NCAA Tournament from 1994 to 2003, including a national semifinal appearance in 1995 when the Spartans compiled a 34-3 record and won its first of two consecutive Big Ten titles. After the 1995 season, Erbe was honored as the Coach of the Year in the Big Ten, as well as the AVCA National Coach of the Year selection.

After five years of retirement from the collegiate game, Erbe returned to the court as an assistant coach for the 2009 U.S. Girls’ Youth National Team during its competition at the FIVB Girls’ Youth World Championship.