Walk of life:
Volleyball coach
Biographical details:

Widely recognized as one of the game’s premier coaches, Dr. Marv Dunphy has directed Pepperdine to four NCAA men’s volleyball titles during his 24 seasons as the Waves’ head coach.

Dunphy, who holds a career record of 452-173 (.723), is noted for his highly technical approach to the game and diligent training methods. He was the 2005 National Coach of the Year and a three-time MPSF Coach of the Year.

As a result of his training, 18 different Waves have earned 30 All-American first team accolades. Pepperdine players have been named All-Americans 45 times under Dunphy’s direction. Five different athletes have gone on to earn National Player of the Year honors in Bob Ctvrtlik (1985), George Roumain (1998, 1999), Brad Keenan (2002, 2003), Sean Rooney (2005) and Jonathan Winder (2007). No other men’s program has had more POTY recipients than Pepperdine since the American Coaches Volleyball Association (AVCA) began issuing the awards in 1991.

Dunphy held 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, 1986 World Championships, 1987 Pan American Games and, most importantly, the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul, South Korea.

Nineteen of his Pepperdine volleyball players have represented the U.S. National Team, with nine 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.

A native of nearby Topanga Canyon, Dunphy was a middle blocker at Pepperdine during the sport’s formative years at the intercollegiate level, earning 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 at 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 – 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 began 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.

In Dunphy’s absence, Pepperdine captured its third NCAA championship in 1986. He returned to the head coaching position in November 1988. Upon returning to Malibu, Dunphy 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. Sean Rooney earned the program’s first player recognized as the AVCA National Newcomer of the Year.

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.

In 2004, Dunphy traveled to Athens, Greece for the 2004 Olympic Summer Games where he served as a team consultant for the U.S. men’s team, which advanced to the bronze medal match.

Pepperdine earned the fifth NCAA title in the program’s history in 2005. The Waves won the regular-season conference crown before earning the league’s automatic bid to the Championships by claiming the MPSF Tournament title with victories over Cal State Northridge and Long Beach State. 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.

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.

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 is currently serving as the Pepperdine director of men’s volleyball operations. Marv and Su also have three grandchildren, Hunter, Shay and Trent

Specific research interests