The most successful coach in NCAA men’s volleyball history will retire following the 2012 season.
The UCLA athletics department announced Tuesday that Hall of Fame coach Al Scates will retire on June 30, 2012 after 50 years with the the Bruins.
“It is a privilege to coach the fine men that have participated and continue to compete for UCLA volleyball,” Scates said in a statement. “I have enjoyed being a continuous member of UCLA volleyball since I walked onto the team as a junior in 1959. … And I’ve enjoyed every minute of it.”
Scates, the only men’s volleyball head coach in UCLA history, has won a college volleyball record 19 NCAA championships and more than 1,200 matches. The Bruins have also had 52 First-Team All-Americnas, 27 Olympians and seven National Player of the Year awards during the head coach’s tenure.
UCLA hired Scates before the start of the 1963 season, when men’s volleyball a non-sanctioned NCAA sport, and led the Bruins to national championships during the non-NCAA era. He was also instrumental in helping men’s volleyball become an NCAA sport in 1970.
In addition to being a six-time National Coach of the Year recipient, Scates is a member of four hall of fames and became the first active coach to be inducted into the Volleyball Hall of Fame in 1995.
“Al Scates stands alone in his contributions to the sport of men’s volleyball,” UCLA athletics director Dan Guerrero said in a statement. “His dedication, passion, and stewardship of the game ushered UCLA into an era of widespread achievement in Olympic sports and broadened athletic opportunities for collegiate men across the country. While bittersweet, Coach Scates’ final year at the helm of Bruin volleyball will be a well-deserved season-long celebration for an individual whose lifetime achievements are truly remarkable. Al is among the greatest coaches in the history of college sports and a legend in the annals of UCLA Athletics. He is a Bruin in every sense of the word and we are so thankful for his 50 years of service to the University.”
UCLA finished this season in eighth place in the MPSF and lost to USC in the MPSF Tournament quarterfinals. The Bruins last won the NCAA championship in 2006.
The five years since UCLA won its last national championship is the second longest drought in program history.
The Bruins won seven NCAA titles in the 1970s, including the first three when volleyball became an NCAA sport. Scates and UCLA also won eight NCAA championships in the 1980s and four in the 1990s.