John Dunning (volleyball)

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John Dunning
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Born (1950-11-06) November 6, 1950 (age 73)
CitizenshipUnited States
EducationBachelor of Arts in Mathematics and Economics
Alma materSan Diego State University
OccupationVolleyball coach
ChildrenLauren and Lisa (daughters)
  • McKenzie and Cole (grandchildren) (father)
  • AVCA National Coach of the Year: 2001, 2016
  • AVCA Hall of Fame: 2011
  • University of the Pacific Hall of Fame: 2007
  • Pac-12 Coach of the Year: 2001, 2007, 2008, 2012
  • USA Volleyball All-Time Great Coach Award: 2005
  • Big West Coach of the Year: 1986, 1996, 1999, 2000
  • Volleyball Monthly National Coach of the Year: 1985
  • San Jose Sports Hall of Fame: 2019 induction

John Dunning (born November 6, 1950) is an American volleyball coach who was the head women’s coach at Stanford University (2001-2016) and the University of the Pacific (United States) (1985-2000). In 32 seasons of collegiate coaching, he guided his teams to five NCAA championships – second most of any Division I women’s volleyball coach – and compiled an overall record of 888-185 (.828). He is one of only two Division I college volleyball coaches to have won National Collegiate Athletic Association championships at two different schools.[1]

Early Years

Before taking the position at the University of the Pacific, Dunning taught math and coached both basketball and volleyball at Fremont High School in Sunnyvale, California.[2] His volleyball teams compiled a record of 283-32 (.898) and won six CIF-Central Coast Section championships as well as a California state championship (1980).

In 1980, Dunning founded Bay Club, a USA Volleyball junior club. His 17-and-under team won the national championship at USA Volleyball Nationals in 1984.[3]


Dunning earned a Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics and Economics from San Diego State University in 1973.

College Coaching

University of the Pacific (United States) (1985-2000)

At UOP, Dunning led the Tigers to two NCAA championships (1985, 1986), a runner-up national finish (1990), five Big West Conference championships and 16 consecutive NCAA tournament appearances, where his teams compiled a postseason record of 43-15.[4]

Dunning was named Big West Coach of the Year four times while at UOP and was inducted into the University of the Pacific Hall of Fame in 2007.[5] He coached 16 All Americans at UOP, including two-time Olympian Elaina Oden and 2008 Olympian Jennifer Joines.

Stanford University (2001-2006)

In 16 seasons as Stanford’s head coach, Dunning guided the Cardinal to three NCAA championships (2001, 2004, 2016), a 58-13 record in the NCAA tournament and seven national championship match appearances.[6] He was inducted into the AVCA Hall of Fame in 2011 and chosen the American Volleyball Coaches Association National Coach of the Year in 2001 and 2016.

Dunning coached 52 AVCA All Americans at Stanford, including four-time Olympian Logan Tom, who was a two-time AVCA National Player of the Year at Stanford, two-time Olympian Ogonna Nnamani, winner of the Honda-Broderick Cup in 2004 as the NCAA’s top female athlete, and two-time Olympian Foluke Akinradewo, the AVCA Player of the Year in 2007 and the “Best Middle Blocker” at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

Coaching Education

In 2011, Dunning partnered with three-time USA Olympic volleyball coach Terry Liskevych and Penn State University women’s volleyball coach Russ Rose to create The Art of Coaching Volleyball (AOCVB), an educational organization that teaches coaching methodology through clinics and online resources.[7] Since its founding, AOCVB has put on 43 clinics in 31 cities and created an online library with more than 3,000 video tutorials.


  1. The other is Mick Haley.
  2. Eymer, Rick. "Dunning's joy was in coaching; winning was a by-product". Palo Alto Online Sports. Palo Alto Online. Retrieved 24 April 2020.
  3. "Stanford's Dunning headed for hall of fame". Palo Alto Online. June 10, 2011. Retrieved 24 April 2020.
  4. Vytas Mazeika (January 11, 2017). "John Dunning goes out on top at Stanford". The Mercury News. Bay Area News Group. Retrieved 24 April 2020.
  5. Jason Anderson (April 21, 2007). "Dunning heads elite Hall of Fame class at Pacific". Stockton. Retrieved 24 April 2020.
  6. Lee Feinswog (January 9, 2017). "Former players, volleyball world pay tribute as John Dunning retires as Stanford coach". Volleyball Retrieved 24 April 2020.
  7. Ken Grosse (December 19, 2019). "Former Olympic volleyball coach brings unique experiences, vision to local business scene with Total Sports". Rancho Santa Fe Review. Retrieved 24 April 2020.

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