Widely recognized as one of the game’s premier coaches, Dr. Marv Dunphy has directed Pepperdine to four NCAA men’s volleyball titles and is heading into his 34th season as the Waves’ head coach in 2016-17.
Dunphy, who holds a career record of 602-265 (.694)*, is noted for his highly technical approach to the game and diligent training methods. He was the 2005 National Coach of the Year and is a three-time MPSF Coach of the Year.
As a result of his training, 22 different Waves have earned 38 All-American first team accolades. Overall, 44 Pepperdine players have been named All-Americans 74 times under Dunphy’s direction. Six different athletes have gone on to earn either AVCA or Volleyball Magazine National Player of the Year honors a combined nine times in Bob Ctvrtlik (1985), George Roumain (1998, 1999), Brad Keenan (2002, 2003), Sean Rooney (2004, 2005), Jonathan Winder (2007) and Paul Carroll (2009). With six AVCA Player of the Year selections, no other men’s program has had more POTY recipients than Pepperdine since the organization began issuing the awards in 1991.
Dunphy has had a long, successful coaching tenure with the U.S. National Team. The American squad maintained a No. 1 world ranking and compiled an impressive overall record of 197-31 (.864) during his time as coach. Additionally, the team won every major international tournament: the 1985 World Cup, the 1986 World Championships, the 1987 Pan American Games and, most importantly, the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul, South Korea.
Since then, he has been an assistant coach for the men’s team at the 2000 Olympics and a consultant coach at the 1996, 2004 and 2008 Olympics. In 2012, Dunphy served as a consultant coach in London for the silver medal winning women’s squad.
Dunphy helped the U.S. Women’s National Team make history in October 2014. He served as an assistant coach during Team USA’s gold-medal run at the FIVB World Championships in Italy. It was the U.S. women’s first-ever gold medal at any major tournament, including the World Championships, World Cup and Olympic Games.
In the spring of 2011, Dunphy was awarded the U.S. Olympic Achievement Award for his part in helping the U.S. National Team capture gold in Beijing.
Nineteen of his Pepperdine volleyball players have represented the U.S. National Team, with 10 taking part in the Olympics.
In 1994, Dunphy was formally recognized for his immense contribution to the sport, as he was inducted into the Volleyball Hall of Fame in Holyoke, Mass. His 1988 Olympic Team was inducted in the fall of 1999. He was also put into the AVCA Hall of Fame in December 2009 and the Pepperdine Athletics Hall of Fame in 2010.
Among his honors from the FIVB (the International Volleyball Federation) are the 1987 Coach of the Year and the 1999 All-Time Great Coaches Award (contemporary division). Also in 1999, he was a finalist for the FIVB’s Greatest Coach of the Century Award.
Under Dunphy’s guidance, the program has received NCAA public recognition awards for its outstanding APR scores five times (2004-50, 2005-06, 2008-09, 2009-10 and 2010-11).
A native of nearby Topanga Canyon, Dunphy was a middle blocker at Pepperdine during the sport’s formative years at the intercollegiate level and earned a bachelor’s degree in kinesiology from the university in 1974.
After completing his athletics eligibility, Dunphy continued his affiliation with the Pepperdine program, serving as an assistant coach to both Harlan Cohen and Burt DeGroot before assuming the head coaching duties in 1977. The following season, Dunphy led Pepperdine to its first-ever NCAA team championship, as the Waves upended UCLA in five games in Columbus, Ohio, to win the national crown.
Dunphy, who earned a master’s degree in physical education from USC in 1978, left Pepperdine following the 1978 championship season to obtain his doctorate degree in the same subject area at Brigham Young University. Dunphy completed work for his doctorate in 1981, and then returned to Pepperdine that fall to quickly elevate the program back to national title contention.
Pepperdine advanced to the NCAA title match in 1983 and 1984, but the Waves were beaten on both occasions by crosstown foe UCLA. However, the tide turned for the fabled “Malibu Roofing Company” in 1985, as Pepperdine rolled to an impressive 25-2 record — still tied as the best single-season mark in school history — and defeated USC in four games at Pauley Pavilion to capture the NCAA title.
The victory proved to be a perfect farewell gift to Dunphy, who took a leave of absence following the 1985 season to immediately begin working with the U.S. National Team at its San Diego base. Under Dunphy’s watchful eye, the American squad gained international attention, and the 12-man roster (which included former Pepperdine standouts Craig Buck, Bob Ctvrtlik, Jeff Stork and Troy Tanner, three of whom were starters) won the gold medal at the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul, South Korea.
Pepperdine captured its third NCAA championship in 1986 without him, but Dunphy returned to the head coaching position in November 1988. Upon returning to Malibu, he hit the recruiting trail and once again rebuilt the program. The Waves reached the pinnacle in 1992, as the team upset Long Beach State to win the MPSF Tournament and then captured its fourth NCAA crown with an impressive three-game sweep of top-ranked Stanford in Muncie, Ind.
In 1998, Pepperdine compiled an impressive 23-5 mark and won the MPSF Tournament with a four-game victory over UCLA at Pauley Pavilion. Unfortunately, UCLA gained its revenge in the NCAA title match, defeating Pepperdine in three games.
During the 1999 campaign the Waves notched a solid 20-5 mark and senior outside hitter George Roumain was tabbed the AVCA National Player of the Year for the second consecutive season. Roumain was a member of the 2000 Olympic Team along with former Pepperdine players Kevin Barnett and Chip McCaw.
Dunphy took another 17-month sabbatical in order to serve as an assistant coach with the U.S. National Team at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia. He returned to Pepperdine in October 2000.
Pepperdine won the 2002 MPSF regular-season title with a 20-2 mark and then proceeded to win the league’s postseason tournament for the second time in three years.
In 2003, Pepperdine went 24-6 overall, including 19-3 in the MPSF, advanced to the title game of the MPSF Tournament and reached the semifinals of the NCAA Tournament. There, the Waves suffered a hard-fought five game setback to eventual national champion Lewis, which later vacated the title.
In May of 2003, Dunphy was honored as one of four coaches named to the U.S. Volleyball Association’s Men’s 1978-2002 All-Era Team. Dunphy served the U.S. National Team in a scouting and advisory role during the 2003 World Cup in Japan.
Pepperdine earned its fifth NCAA title in the program’s history in 2005. Pepperdine swept Ohio State in the national semifinals before rallying back from a 2-1 deficit to defeat UCLA, 3-2, in the championship match at Pauley Pavilion, capping off its 25-2 season.
That year Dunphy was selected as National Coach of the Year for the first time in his career. He also earned MPSF Coach of the Year honors for the second time after previously picking up the honor in 2002.
In 2006, Volleyball Magazine selected Dunphy as one of the “30 Most Recognizable Names in Volleyball.”
Dunphy earned MPSF Coach of the Year honors again in 2007 as the Waves went 26-3 overall, won both the MPSF regular-season and tournament titles and advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the 14th time in school history.
During fall 2007, Dunphy rejoined the U.S. National Team for the World Cup in Japan, where he served as team leader.
The 2008 Waves made one of their most unexpected runs to the national championship match, as they began the postseason as the #5 seed in the MPSF Tournament, but won the event with three straight wins away from home. Pepperdine knocked off Long Beach State in the NCAA semifinals before falling to Penn State in the championship. The Waves finished with a record of 18-11 and a #2 national ranking*.
Dunphy was a member of the coaching staff for the 2008 U.S. Olympic squad, which made a remarkable run to the gold medal. One of his former All-Americans, Sean Rooney, was a player on the team. He returned to the London Olympics in 2012, and served as a consultant coach to the silver-medal winning women’s team.
The 2009 squad was one point away from making another NCAA Championships appearance before falling in the MPSF Tournament final to USC in five games. The Waves ended the season with a 22-5* record and a #3 national ranking.
In 2014, the Waves tied for first in the MPSF regular-season standings marking just the 10th time in program history the team has finished the season at the top. Pepperdine, ranked #4 in the final AVCA poll, ended the year with a 19-7 overall record after reaching the MPSF Tournament semifinals. 2015 played out similarly, with the Waves advancing all the way to the MPSF Tournament finals and end the year ranked #5. Between the two seasons, Pepperdine won a program-record 20 matches in a row inside Firestone Fieldhouse.
A popular instructor for Pepperdine University’s sports medicine department, Dunphy resides in the Decker Canyon area of Malibu with his wife Su. The couple has two daughters, Karen and Alexandra, and one son, Dijon. Alexandra won a national championship as a member of the USC women’s volleyball team and is currently serving as an assistant coach for the Waves’ women’s volleyball team. Marv and Su also have three grandchildren, Hunter, Shay and Trent.
*Pepperdine later vacated all wins (66), NCAA Tournament losses (1), MPSF Tournament Championships (1) and NCAA Tournament appearances (1) accrued during the 2008, ‘09, ‘10 and ‘11 seasons due to self-reported NCAA violations. Records marked with an asterisk do not reflect this. Pepperdine’s official NCAA all-time record prior to the 2016 season is 686-350, while Marv Dunphy’s official NCAA record at Pepperdine is 523-253 overall. Pepperdine’s official conference record is 482-270 and its official MPSF record is 277-153. The Waves have officially won three MPSF Tournament titles and made 14 NCAA appearances. Official season records are as follows: 2008, 0-10; 2009, 0-5; 2010, 0-10; 2011, 0-15.