Pepperdine Coaching Legend Marv Dunphy Announces Retirement

July 24, 2017  | 2 min read

Volleyball coaching legend Marv Dunphy (’74) announced his retirement on June 19, bringing to an end an incredible career that included four NCAA championships and more than 600 wins at Pepperdine, as well as seven Olympic appearances as a coach, highlighted by a Gold Medal in 1988 as head coach of the US Men’s National Team.

“I’m very grateful to Pepperdine for all that it’s given me,” said Dunphy. “I can’t imagine any other institution being as supportive of a coach as Pepperdine has been to me. I want to thank our current and former players for giving me the privilege of being their coach and for all that they brought to this program.”

Due to occasions when he stepped away to pursue his own education goals or to coach with the National Team, Dunphy served four different stretches as the Waves’ head coach: 1977–1978, 1982–1985, 1989–1999, and 2001–2017. He has been head coach for 34 of the 47 seasons that men’s volleyball has existed at Pepperdine.

During his most recent 17-year run, Dunphy led the Waves to a top-10 finish in the national rankings 16 times and into the top five 11 times. In addition to the four titles, Pepperdine finished second at the NCAA Championships five times under Dunphy and won or shared 12 conference regular-season or tournament titles.

“Marv Dunphy is the greatest teacher and coach with whom I have ever been associated,” said Steve Potts (JD ’82), Pepperdine’s director of athletics. “Through teaching and coaching volleyball, Marv has impacted the lives of countless student-athletes during their time at Pepperdine and even well beyond. He has been an incredible ambassador for Pepperdine University all around the world. He leaves a standard of excellence for which we should all strive as his legacy.”

After winning the 1985 NCAA title, Dunphy stepped down for three seasons in order to become head coach of the US Men’s National Team, which he led to a tremendously successful run between 1985 and 1988. The American squad maintained a number-one world ranking and won every major international tournament: the 1985 World Cup, the 1986 World Championships, the 1987 Pan American Games, and the 1988 Olympic Games.

That began a stretch that saw Dunphy work at seven different Olympiads in various capacities. He was either an assistant or consultant coach with the US men in 1996, 2000, 2004, and 2008 (winning Gold in 2008), and a consulting or scouting coach with the US women in 2012 and 2016 (winning Silver in 2012 and Bronze in 2016).

Dunphy was a standout volleyball player himself and played at Pepperdine during the program’s early years. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in kinesiology from the University in 1974. He went on to earn a master’s degree in physical education from USC in 1978 and doctorate in physical education from BYU in 1981.

Dunphy will remain at Pepperdine during the 2017–2018 school year in order to continue teaching his popular coaching class and to assist with special projects for the department and men’s volleyball program.

Read more about Marv Dunphy's legacy at Pepperdine.