Joan Powell Named 2018 Frier Recipient

By Bill Kauffman ( | May 23, 2018, 10:34 p.m. (ET)

Joan Powell with her family after receiving the Frier Award
Joan Powell (second from right) with her family after receiving the Frier Award

DALLAS (May 23, 2018) – USA Volleyball honored Joan Powell with its Harold T. Friermood “Frier” Award, the highest honor bestowed by the national governing body, during the Dorothy C. Boyce Awards Recognition Banquet Wednesday evening in Dallas.

Powell has enriched the lives of countless people within the volleyball world, whether as an administrator, player, high school coach, referee, teacher of the game or simply a mentor over the last 40 years.

“Absolutely humbling to be among the group of Frier award winners,” Powell said after being introduced as the 2018 Frier recipient and what it means to her being added to that list of volleyball’s legends. “That group of people and what they have done for the sport of volleyball… I am the recipient of what those people did for this great game. No award necessary. Being introduced to this game, and for them being the care givers of the game provided me great opportunities. Wow. Wow.”

Powell was one of 17 recipients honored at the Boyce that showcases the sport’s legendary athletes, coaches and administration.

Awards Presented at Boyce Banquet
Harold T. Friermood “Frier” Award: Joan Powell
Tom Haine All-Time Great Player Award (Indoor): John Brame
Flo Hyman All-Time Great Player Award (Indoor): Polly Lowery Simmons
All-Time Great Player Award (Beach): Randy Stoklos
Donald S. Shondell All-Time Great Coach (Contemporary Division): Anna Collier
Bertha Lucas All-Time Great Coach (Pioneer Division): Jeff Mozzochi
George J. Fisher Leader in Volleyball: Steve Robb
George J. Fisher Leader in Volleyball: Lynne Updegraff
Wilbur H. Peck Referee Emeritus Award: Doug Wilson
Junior Service Award – Outstanding Program Director: Dan Smith
Junior Service Award – Outstanding Male Coach: Joe Hovanes
Junior Service Award – Outstanding Female Coach: Karen Schmitz
Junior Service Award – Outstanding Parent Award: Kathy Gettinger
Junior Service Award – Outstanding Service Award: Joe Thomas
Junior Service Award – Outstanding Clinician: Sarah E. Hammers
Junior Service Award – Outstanding Referee: John Bear
Junior Service Award – Outstanding Scorer: Lauren Lange

About Joan Powell
A year after graduating from University of Arizona, Powell became involved with USA Volleyball in 1974 and has been an active member ever since. As a player, she received regional all-star honors seven times and led her Colorado Connections team to three USA Volleyball Open National Championships titles in the 30-and-Over Division. Powell was selected USA Volleyball All-American five times.

Powell’s interest in officiating emerged from a college class while attending Arizona in the early 1970s. That one class led to an officiating opportunity while still in college and a long-standing refereeing career was born. She was a PAVO nationally certified official for nearly 40. In 1987, Powell earned her USA Volleyball national referee patch and stayed active for 27 years. Along the way, she has officiated the NCAA Division I, Division II & III championships several times, including multiple semifinal and title matches. Her latest NCAA championship was in 2009.

Powell’s administrative role in the sport has kept her active. She served five terms as president of PAVO, starting in that role in 1997. She was selected as the first NCAA National Coordinator of Officials in 2011, thus forcing her to let go of her NCAA whistle. In this new role, Powell coordinated officials’ assignments, nominations and advancement process for the Division I, II and III NCAA Volleyball Championship committees. She served as a consultant to the NCAA Volleyball Rules Committee while also developing educational tools for over 3,000 officials nationwide, coordinating clinics throughout the country and editing the annual referee exam.

In April of 2016, Powell took on the role of coordinator of women’s volleyball officiating for the Pac-12 Conference – a similar role she held at the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference prior to her job with the NCAA.

Powell has served on the USA Volleyball Board of Directors and completed two terms on the National Association of Sports Officials Board of Directors. She has previously served on USA Volleyball’s Rules Committee.

Powell’s involvement in volleyball was not squarely in officiating or administration – she had a full-time volleyball job outside those realms for many years. She retired from a 32-year high school volleyball coaching career after the 2006 season. Her final 30 years coaching was at the helm of Coronado High School in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Powell led Coronado to four state championship titles and coached hundreds of athletes along the way. And she excelled teaching in the classroom as well. In 1998, Powell was named Disney Teacher of the Year.

Her educational background and coaching skills combined to form another avenue to reach the volleyball community. Since 1989, Powell has been a cadre member in USA Volleyball’s Coaching Accreditation Program since its inception. She has mentored other volleyball coaches to become better coaches. Joan has authored numerous officiating and coaching articles, including two chapters for two coaching books.

Powell has also been to the Olympics. In 2008, she served as the team leader for the U.S. Olympic Women’s Volleyball Team at the Beijing Olympic Games after serving in the same capacity at the 2008 Pan Am Cup and 2008 FIVB World Grand Prix.

Powell has received several honors for her service. In 1999, she was selected as both the George J. Fisher Leader in Volleyball and Karen M. Johnson Human Resources Award winner. In 2009, Powell was honored with the Glen G. Davies Referee Service award. And in 2014, she was bestowed the Joseph B. Sharpless Arbitrator’s Award for her event arbitrator work at USA Volleyball National Championships events. Powell has been inducted into seven Halls of Fame.

2018 Awards Presented at Other Venues
Dr. Neville A “Doc” Booth Commissioner’s Award: Kent Ma, Aloha Region
Best Regional Web Site: Keystone Region
E. Douglas Boyden Media Recognition Award: Mechelle Voepel, espnW
James E. Coleman USA National Team Award: Tony Lovitt
Harry E. Wilson Distinguished Service: To be presented later
Jonathan Reeser Sports Science Award: To be presented later
Joe Sharpless Arbitrator Award: To be presented later
Glen G. Davies Referee Service Award: Presented May 24
Lauten Scorekeeper Service Award: Presented May 24
Gold Whistle: Presented on May 24
Silver Whistle: Presented on May 24
Bronze Whistle: Presented on May 24
Gold Pen: Presented on May 24
Silver Pen: Presented on May 24