Marv Dunphy: What You're Saying

June 20, 2017

To submit your story, visit: http://www.pepperdinewaves.com/ot/marv-dunphy.html

Congratulations on the announcement about your retirement from coaching. Your contributions to the sport of men's volleyball and to Pepperdine University cannot be measured, nor can your impact on so many people who have been part of the journey. Thanks for being a tremendous mentor during my formative years as a young professional in the field of college athletics.

-- Mike Zapolski (former Pepperdine Administrator)

Marv has and will be always remembered for how he treated everyone! I was one of his campers when I was younger and now that I've been coaching for several years, Marv still asks how my dad is doing? Who does that? Marv use to always say, "you get what you tolerate," and that has stuck with me for the longest time. I could always give him a call or shoot him an email and he always responded promptly. I appreciate you Marv and I appreciate our friendship!
-- Trevor Johnson

I just want to thank him for all he did for my son Beau Daniels.  We have so much respect and admiration for Marv.  I wish him well on his retirement. I hope he can relax a little and enjoy life and family.
-- Robin Cox

Congratulations Marv!  Wishing you all the best.
-- The Shannon family (Mike Shannon, former player 1990-94)

I wish I had been good enough to play for Marv Dunphy. You could see the impact he has made on the lives of so many young men at Pepperdine. They come in as boys and leave as men. What a great coach and an even better man.
-- Jay Rubenstein

I had the great privelege and honor to work for the Pepperdine Men's Volleyball team as a student Admin Assistant 2004-2006 under Marv Dunphy. He is a legend in the sport & a truly good, kind man. He always made everyone who had even the slightest thing to do with the team feel a part of the team & appreciated. I have many fond memories of sitting in his office while he and the assistant coaches worked out game plans. Watching a true master of the sport was something to behold. Though all I did was shag balls, make copies, and go on taco runs, Marv always made me and everyone feel like a part of the team's success.  Pepperdine won't be the same without him. Congrats Marv on an amazing career! Best wishes to you and your family.
-- Carish Stanford

A few favorite Marv-isms
"Let the babies have their way"
"One of the worst things you can do for someone is what they can do for themselves"
"You know what. I think we're good".
-- Deb Prouse (former Pepperdine athletic trainer)

In 1992, when I was in my first season as a coach at Universite Laval in Quebec City, I picked up the phone and called Marv to invite Pepperdine for a CAN-AM challenge between the 1992 NCAA champions and LAVAL also championed Canada that year. I was really surprised that he accepted my proposal and that matches were held in Quebec City in mid-October 1992. It was a big event with many supporters. The two champions teams have split the honors. Laval won 3-1 on the first night and lost 0-3 the second. Two years later, our team visited Pepperdine during the Christmas period to play a few games against the Waves and prepare our team for the second half of our season. That year we won our 3rd national title. I remember that this trip to Pepperdine brought us a lot of inspiration. In 1994, another story this time more personal. Marv invites me as a coach to his summer camp and unfortunately during the flight, I hurt my back very seriously. After two days I was no longer able to walk. Marv and his wife Sue took me home and kindly took care of me for a week. While my situation was getting worse Marv decided to take me to a hospital where that night I was operated on an emergency. Since then we have become good friends. Subsequently I always considered MARV as a mentor and has been the most influential person in my coaching over the past 25 years. I would be grateful to him all my life and I wish him and his wife a wonderful retirement.
-- Pascal Clement

Coach Dunphy had recruited my son Connor whom had attended one of Marv's wonderful volleyball clinics. It was an honor to pay Pepperdine an official visit, visit Firestone Fieldhouse and even being welcomed into his home and playing some spirited table tennis against him. He treated my son and I with great respect, reflection and fatherly kindness. Reflectly upon our research and now personal interaction with Coach, I consuled my son that Pepperdine & Coach Dunphy were an amazing pair. Even though Connor choose another school and became a fierce competitor, Marv always extended that welcome and smile and kind recognition and respect for my son and our family. With great respect and honor that Coach would consider our son for his squad and wishing him and his family a fulfilling retirement. Thanks for the great men's volleyball memories.
-- Rory Hughes & family

Gentleman, Scholar, Teacher, Mentor.
Everyone who was lucky enough to spend time with him became a better person.
My favorite Marv quote.
"It's not where you are, it's who you are"
-- Alan Hopkins

It was a privilege to take your foundations of coaching class last year. I learned more in that semester about being a coach, leader, and a man than I could have in any other course. Thank you coach for your inspiration; you are a role model to me. I wish you the best in the next chapter of your life.
-- Nick Blanchard

I was never coached by Marv but I would consider him a friend. He recruited my brother during my freshman year so I got to know him through all the visits with my brother. Then whenever Marv had recruits with him and he spotted me, he would pull me into his office and have me talk to the recruits and try to woo them into coming to Pepperdine. I never minded because I always understood I was in the presence of a legend. I also considered myself to be an under the radar, recruiting employee for Marv Dunphy.
-- Heidi Dyer

Marv is unquestionably one of the most influential people in my life. He believed in me and made me believe a kid from Wisconsin could come to California and succeed..."it's not where you are, it's who you are." Words that have stuck with me since he first said them to me.
-- Tom Sorensen (former player 1990-93)

Two stories: (1) in 2008, I was spending time in the Pep gym, and an asst. coach was going to leave right before the post-season (he had gotten a new HC job).  Marv and I were sitting in his office, and I volunteer to help out if he needed a body for the playoffs.  Marv casually explains that he's already reached out to a couple of former Pep guys, so I'm not needed, which is exactly what I expected.  But then Marv goes "wait", reaches into his Rolodex for a blank card, and asks me to write down my name and contact numbers.  And as I'm writing stuff down, he adds "put your wife's name down too, so I know."  He could've ended the conversation right after he said I wasn't needed, but instead made some nobody visiting coach feel valued.  Of course, that's just how Marv operated...  (2) Marv was hosting the annual Gold Medal Squared coaching clinic visit to Pep, and among the coaches there was a beginning coach from Japan, who didn't understand rotations.  At the lunch break, Marv asks me and five other coaches to stay behind and act like a team, so he can personally show this coach each rotation.  After 10 minutes or so, the coach gets it, leaves her private lesson with Marv smiling, and we break to go somewhere to eat.  Marv then turns to me and Liane & Eric Sato (who were also part of the "demo" team), and says "hey, I've got a bucket of fried chicken in my fridge, let's go up to my office and eat!"  Always thinking about others, always caring, always making people better... Marv, saying "thank you" for what you've given me doesn't scratch the surface of my gratitude, but, THANK YOU - for memories, wisdom & counsel, and making me just one of the thousands of people who are better human beings for knowing you.

-- John Landicho

We were in practice one day and he was giving one the guys a coach on one and the guy stopped because there was a ball cart in the way and Marv stops and says "I don't care if you have to maul a polar bear to get that ball, you're getting that ball". There was always at least one thing he said during practice that no one understood but him. Gotta love it!
-- Max States (former player, 2013-17)

We were blowing somebody out at Firestone during the 2005 championship season, and during the third set a few of us bleacher creatures started chanting "We want Grobe! We want Grobe!" because we wanted our friend to get in the game. Marv called Jon over, who of course thought he was subbing in, and told him with a straight face, "I think your friends want to see you. You should go talk to them." After he let that sink in for a minute, he cracked a smile and put him in the game to our raucous approval.
-- Owen Ranger

It was my privilege to work with you and referee at all the international competitions while you were USA coach.  Always the best.  Hope our paths will still cross somewhere on the volleyball road.  All the best to you in retirement.
-- Doug Wilson

I would like to extend my sincerest congratulations for a phenomenal career, of which I was able to be around you for a few brief moments in my own volleyball journey.  I was privileged to be the press attache for the USA men's Olympic volleyball team in Seoul, Korea in 1988 when you led the team to the Gold Medal.  Then, you unselfishly brought your #1 ranked Waves to Greenville, SC to help us launch our program at North Greenville University in 2015 with two matches.
To this day, you are one of only two sports figures of the hundreds I've encountered in my own life, that I requested an autograph and will treasure forever.
Thanks isn't sufficient to register the amount of gratitude and generous spirit you've brought to me and the game of volleyball.  God bless you as you enter the next phase of your life!
-- Fred Battenfield

I had the great pleasure of working with Marv while holding a student job in the athletics department (class of '96 Seaver College). I *think* I was the first Waves VB stats keeper to use a computer program instead of paper and pencil. Ha! Congrats on a well-deserved retirement.
-- Jennifer (Madison) Forester

I took a class with Coach Dunphy and his passion and teaching were second to none. To this day it was one of the more memorable classes I took in college. Congrats on an amazing career and best of luck with your future endeavors!
-- Drew Saberhagen

Coach Dunphy is truly an anomaly. His wisdom and knowledge of the game goes unparalleled, and the care he exudes for his players is beyond what I had received from coaches in previous years. Playing for him was truly humbling, and he was the primary reason I chose Pepperdine. Although it is sad to see him leave, I know he will always be a part of the Pepperdine family.
-- Daniel Vaziri (current player 2015-present)

You have been such a great influence on so many over the years. It was an honor to work along side you in athletics. I to this day still ask my players after a win the previous night, "What have we won today?" I learned from you about staying humble, no matter the accomplishments of the past. I learned to focus on working hard for the future, never relying on what you did in the past to dictate what's to come. Thank you for all that you have done and enjoy retirement!!!
-- Matt Levy

Marv has personified the Pepperdine Mission of Strengthening Lives for Purpose, Service and Leadership. He is Pepperdine and has given his life to making the lives of young men and women better.  Congrats to Marv and Su on this step.  You are awesome Marv!!
-- Sam Lagana (Pepperdine Associate Vice Chancellor)

My daughter is entering her sophomore year at Pepperdine. She played varsity volleyball in high school and attended the Dunphy volleyball camps and had such a good experience. My parents have worked at Pepperdine for a long time as well. They're retired now, but through all the chaos, Marv always seemed to be able to pick my mom, Claudette Wilson, out of a crowd, and make a point to say hello to her. As her daughter, that meant a lot. Thank you for your family's contribution! We appreciate you and your commitment to our youth. You are part of Pepperdine's legacy.
-- Emily Adrian


I've known him for a long time since I covered Pepperdine sports for The Malibu Times. He couldn't be a nicer, more genuine person.  I'm going to Austria this summer with the FIVB for the Beach Volleyball World Championships, and that wouldn't be happening if Marv and his daughter Alex hadn't introduced me to the FIVB back in 2010.
-- Seth Rubinroit

While attending Pepperdine together, you once told me you did not believe in momentum in sports. Well, I believe you have been riding your own personal Wave to the betterment of every person's life you have touched along the way.  All the Best!
-- Bill Schulman

To my college teacher who had the biggest impact and influence on me.  His character, passion, knowledge all helped shape me to become a college coach upon graduating from Pepperdine. Thanks for your leadership and how you represented Marv.
-- Kristi Devert

My favorite memory of Marv is when he helped me write a paper on the 1988 Olympics for a history class. We stayed late in his office one night as I interviewed him, and he told story after story about his experience coaching Team USA. To me, that night embodies who Marv is as a person and how much he values taking the time to make an impact on those around him. Thank you Marv for believing in me as a player and making me feel at home in Malibu.
-- Weston Barnes (current player - 2015-current)

I am extremely blessed to have known Marv for many years. I will never forget the phone ringing one day in October of 2006. I answered it and the caller asked how I was doing. He identified himself as Marv Dunphy. I immediately assumed he was calling to speak to my husband who is a high school volleyball coach and told him I would go get him. He said "Hold on a minute, I called to talk to you." You see, I was battling breast cancer and he wanted to check on me and see how I was doing.  It was a small gesture that meant so much. He spent 10-15 minutes making me feel like I mattered. He is a well-decorated coach but more importantly a genuine, kind, honest and caring man. I am sad that my incoming freshman, Troy will miss you as the head coach, but am comforted knowing you will still be hovering around watching over him. Thank you for all you have given to the volleyball community.
-- Lisa Magorien

Marv traveled with USA a lot and we always loved having him with us. We were in Italy for World Championships and we played short court one day before practice. Right before he served he pointed behind me and said "watch out for that ball". Being gullible as ever, I turn to kick a ball away. There was no ball. When I turned away, he served. Luckily he missed in the net. Then we got called in to start practice. I won with a score of 1-0 :) He is one of the best people I know and it was an honor to work with him. Happy retirement, Marv! I'm up for a rematch whenever you want!
-- Kayla Banwarth (former volunteer assistant, 2016 season)

I was an assistant coach at Pepperdine for just one season (2011-12.)  It was my first coaching job after I got done playing, and I wasn't sure how such a prestigious volleyball program would be like. And how demanding would this Olympic champion coach be? Luckily Marv was the most humane demander of excellence one can think of. In fact it was just his presence, just the person he was. You never wanted to let him down, and in stead of pressuring you, he lifted you up every so often to let you know you mattered to him.  It could be his famous note on the desk expressing gratitude or a new bag of almonds waiting there at 6am (he ate my almonds and cashews when he came in and apparently felt the need to replenish.)  My office was down the hallway from his, and at some point during the "dog days of training" I saw a paper plane fly in, probably before 7am. No one in the hall way. Kept working. Then another! I went out and looked. No one again, but this time I waited out. After a 30 seconds or so Marv peaked to see if I had gone back in, with a big grin on his face. I threw the plane back to him. How could one not feel good about being in such benevolent presence? Of course the thing was, that he acknowledged everyone in some small, but meaningful way.  And this brings us to the favorite Marv story. We are recruiting in Texas. After a long day of watching matches, we go to a local restaurant. Ribs and the like. Our waiter is visibly distressed and sad about something. I think we both noticed it, but neither sad a word. We ate and ordered desset.  We are almost finished when she comes back. Marv looks her in the eye and says: "You know what, life is not perfect -pointing to the piece of pie she had brough him- but this is." She started crying on the spot.  I keep going to that story and thinking... Perhaps it was the first time for a while that someone had actually paid genuine attention to her or her work. We don't know. But we do know that it took a giant like Marv just five seconds to make her feel better about life again.  
-- Lauri Hakala (former assistant coach for 2011-12 season)

Congratulations Marv!  We have so enjoyed knowing you these past 20+ years, seeing your influence on all of these young men - as players but more important, the life lessons they have learned from you.  You make your fans feel special - always taking the opportunity to say hello and "thanks for coming to the game"!  Enjoy retirement as much as you have enjoyed coaching! 
-- Lou and Kathy Colombano

Thank you, Marv, for impressing upon me the importance of the teaching process over knowledge of X's and O's. And, thank you for your patience in teaching me this....along with the many thrashings playing funyeti(?)....
-- Craig Cummings

Marv had an influence beyond just those he coached on the court. Marv was instrumental in so many parts of my life.  I would not have the life I do now without him and for that I am eternally grateful.  My favorite memories of Marv are just those everyday moments when we would have a conversation or getting to watch him coach.  I also loved the time I spent working in the athletic department and Marv would gather the whole department for a competitive game of something during a lull in sporting events.  He was always making everyone feel at home and a part of the Waves community.  Words can never capture all the great memories and moments I have with Marv nor will they do justice to how I feel about Marv and his family.  He is truly one of a kind and the greatest guy.  I will miss seeing Marv coach the Waves in "The House that Marv Built".
-- Tina (Paschke) Whitlock

Coach thanks for your friendship and support of our son Patrick when he was a freshman.  He took your class, and has gone on to a career in coaching.  And thanks for your help when our son Chris was getting his MBA in Coaching.  Our family has been blessed by your selflessness and emphasis on helping students get the most out of life.  All our best wishes for you in this next and very exciting chapter!
-- Bob Spurgin

Our son was recruited by Pepperdine and I had heard so many good things about Marv from the volleyball world so we were elated to know that our son would be playing for him. When we actually met Marv it raised our respect and appreciation to the highest level. I will never forget sitting in Marvs office, how down to earth and real and just solid he was. We talked about some of the hundreds of photos on his walls. We laughed about how our son answered one of his questions and it honestly felt like we could have been friends for the last 20 years, he was that comfortable. And I remember thinking "but he's a freaking legend!" and yet so approachable. We went for the famous campus tour (sunset, perfect Malibu night) and mostly did small talk until the very end, almost to the bottom of the stairs, when I asked Marv a very direct question about our son and he gave me an even more direct answer, looking me square in the eyes. His genuine demeanor earns only trust and respect and I knew our son would be in good hands with Marv. Of course, one of the common questions other parents, even other coaches asked us was "when is Marv retiring?" so we knew it was inevitable and even expected so the timing didn't completely surprise me but I am sad in a way, to be honest, that our son will not have the Marv experience. I wish nothing but the best for Marv and Su in the next chapters and will treasure our brief time with him and the legacy he is handing off. Go Waves!
-- Youth Volleyball Parents

It has been amazing to see the outpouring of gratitude for Marv from former teammates, alumni, friends, and others. I have taken the time to read every post I have come across, and an obvious and unsurprising pattern has emerged: Marv made everyone a priority. He didn't just make you feel important. You WERE important. Over the last couple days while reading all the posts from others, it occurred to me that I have never actually taken the time to purposefully ponder the impact he has had in my life.  I wondered why and concluded that it was because he hasn't stopped.  I don't mean that I still see him daily like I did in my years as his student-athlete or assistant coach. But, his teachings still linger with me in my daily life, and I continue to learn new insights from them. When potential employers have asked what drives me, I tell them that nothing rings truer than the phrase, do things right?. As I sleep, I still get those old volleyball dreams of playing for him or coach ing with him. It is clear how immediate and lasting his teachings are, and they will continue to be because there is still meat on the bone?. Marv, your success in your coaching career is absolutely incredible, but your success in your teaching career is immeasurable and will only grow greater.  Thank you for your amazing leadership and mentorship through the years, and all the lives you've touched. Congratulations and I cannot wait for the story to continue.

--Favorite Marv quotes:
"Individuals never lose their desire to be treated as individuals."
"Do things right."
"I think we're good here."
"Waves are tough."
"Waves don't get sick."
"Rome wasn't built in a day."
"There's still meat on the bone."
-- J.D. Schleppenbach (former player, 2005-10)

Marv, your successes go far beyond the NCAA championships and Olympic medals. You made sure that so many Waves, including myself, got our degrees. And you reminded us all of the Definition of Class.  But the words of Robert Frost ring so true for you, "Two paths diverged in a wood, And I, I took the one less traveled and that has made all the difference."  I wish you all the best on your next journey.
-- Gary Moy (Team Manager, 1981-84)

Coaching is a profession where you can think you have arrived when your actually still stuck in adolescence. Ever since I've known Marv Dunphy, he was always the adult in the profession; the most consistent, the most prepared, and the least likely to respond negatively to a new idea.
-- Terry Pettit

Marv had a profound impact on my life. I had always dreamed of having the privilege to become  part of the legacy that was the Pepperdine team. I remember, as a young kid, I traveled from the Bay Area to Malibu just to watch the Pepperdine men's volleyball team.  Ten years later, Marv gave me the incredible opportunity to become a Wave. It felt surreal until Alex Dunphy handed me my first Pepperdine Volleyball shirt. I don't think I took it off for the first week. (I even slept with it on.) I cannot thank Marv enough for the chance he gave me. My dream became reality, and I will never forget my time as a Wave.  Wish you the best in retirement,
-- Brandt Ng (player, 2009-12)

I'm one of many that who are fortunate enough to have played for you; to have learned from you; to have been in the same environment as you.  My favorite moment with you happened years after I graduated. I met you at a AVCA Convention and told you about how I was getting into coaching... you interrupted me and said - "Alex told me about it. She said you're doing a great job! I'm proud of you!"  I have no word to describe how that made feel. But it meant the world to me! You see Marv, everything in my life I am most proud so far, I only accomplished  because you took a chance on me.  I don't think I can ever thank you enough. What I can do is to embrace your teachings and continue to live life as a Wave because:

- "Waves do things right!"
- "Waves are tough"
- Because I'm one of the good guys.

Congrats on such an amazing career!  It is an understatement for sure but - "I think we're good here"
-- Rodnei Santos (player, 2008-10)

I have been photographing Pepperdine Volleyball & Basketball since the 1980-81 season, and one of my greatest joys was working with Marv all of those years. Somehow, I always thought he would be at Pepperdine FOREVER, as the one fixed point in an ever changing world! He was, and is, the classiest act among many of the class people I have known at Pepp. I will miss our sessions of selecting photos for the seniors at the end of the season, but will always treasure his friendship and the fact that he made me feel like a part of the team.
-- Martin A. Folb (longtime Pepperdine photographer)

Playing volleyball at Pepperdine and getting to learn from and play for Marv was one of the greatest honors of my life.  He led his players to be better volleyball players and more importantly better men.  As one of the many people that benefitted greatly from Marv's tutelage, I say "Thank You, Marv!"
-- Joshua Crosier (player, 1995-98)

Coaching is a profession where you can think you have arrived when your actually still stuck in adolescence. Ever since I've known Marv Dunphy, he was always the adult in the profession; the most consistent, the most prepared, and the least likely to respond negatively to a new idea.
-- Terry Pettit

My story is not unlike most everyone that has had the privilege to play for Marv. At least, the end of the story isn't. I tried to walk on to the volleyball team my sophomore and junior years at Pepp, having only played one year of organized volleyball and literally no business being on the court or even in the gym with the rest of the guys on the team. My senior year, I decided to give it one more go and for some reason, Marv gave me the nod to be on the roster. I had no expectation of ever seeing the court or even suiting up for a match, I just wanted to be a part of the team and work hard for my teammates everyday. Marv knew this, but he also knew that just going to practice everyday and keeping score or reffing is mundane, thankless, and boring. But he always made me feel like I was just as important as any of our All-Americans. Near the end of our season, we were beating UC Irvine pretty handily in Firestone and Marv actually put me in the back row for the last three points of the match. I got to pass one ball, we won the point, and I absolutely lost my mind in happiness. I know I said thank you to Marv, but I don't know that he understands how important that one gesture was to me. It still remains the highlight of my athletics career. Marv was a coach that followed his one team rule of "Do things right." He taught the importance of hard work, of being a good teammate, and pushing us to exceed our expectations of ourselves and our teammates to achieve success. Marv, you will be dearly missed, but there is no question you left the world of volleyball in a far better place because of your work and dedication. Thank you so much.

-- Michael Hurlbut (player, 2002)

Marv came to my office years ago and commented on something I was preparing and said, "Hey, that's big time!" I immediately said, "No, you're the Big Time." Ever since, that stuck as how I greet him. It is always intended with sincere respect and appreciation for this humble legend I am blessed to call friend.
-- Karin Taylor (Pepperdine, Director of Athletics Advancement)

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