The National Outside Attacker of the Year award will be renamed to honor one of the best players in the history of college men’s volleyball and USA Volleyball.
Off the Block announced Tuesday that the newest college men’s volleyball national award will be named after former UCLA All-American outside attacker and Olympic gold medalist Karch Kiraly.
The Karch Kiraly Award will be the first national position-based award in college men’s volleyball history given to an outside attacker. The naming of this award after a former standout player was done in effort to preserve and honor the sport’s history.
Kiraly as a four-time All-American led the Bruins to a 126-5 record during his college career and won NCAA championships in 1979, 1981 and 1982. He also was named the NCAA Tournament Most Outstanding Player as a junior and senior to become the first player in NCAA men’s volleyball history to earn the honor in back-to-back years.
“Karch Kiraly was the best player I have ever coached,” Hall of Famer and former UCLA coach Al Scates said. “He practiced and played with the same intensity. He tried to have a perfect practice and a perfect match whenever he stepped on the court. When Karch was a freshman he would compete with our senior captain Sinjin Smith during warm-ups to finish first in a grueling conditioning drill that included hundreds of dives and jumps interspersed with sprints and 300 sit-ups and 300 push-ups and one of them always beat their teammates. He stayed an extra year in 1983 as a graduate assistant coach to earn his degree in a tough double major and helped coach our team to a fourth NCAA championship in his five years.”
After graduating from UCLA, Kiraly helped the U.S. Men’s National Team win gold medals at the 1984 and 1988 Olympics. In addition, Kiraly was a three-time FIVB Beach Volleyball World Champion and won the gold medal at inaugural Olympic beach volleyball tournament in 1996.
Kiraly along with his championships was named the FIVB Male Volleyball Player of the Century in 2000 and was voted in 1995 the most influential person in volleyball’s first 100 years. The former UCLA All-American was inducted into the Volleyball Hall of Fame in 2001.
Kiraly is currently the head coach of the U.S. Women’s National Team for the upcoming 2016 Olympics.
The Karch Kiraly Award will be one of three position-based national awards presented by Off the Block this season.
Off the Block last season presented the inaugural Lloy Ball Award to the nation’s top setter. It also will debut this season the Bryan Ivie Award, which will be given to the nation’s top opposite.
Several volleyball organizations present end-of-season awards ranging from All-American Teams to the National Player of the Year. However, Off the Block is the first organization to present college men’s volleyball national awards based on a specific position.
All three national award winners will be determined at the end of the regular season by a nationwide voting committee comprised of coaches and media members.
The top-three vote-getters for each award will be named finalists. The player receiving the most votes for each award will be announced as the winner.
Off the Block is a national award winning website that has become among the nation’s leaders in college men’s volleyball coverage.