Legendary coach Scates to retire
After 50 years at UCLA, coach will leave after 2012 season
UCLA's Al Scates, the most successful and longest tenured collegiate volleyball coach in the history of the game, will retire on June 30, 2012 the athletic department announced Tuesday.
Scates will retire after 50 years of service at UCLA with a nation-leading Division I record of more than 1,200 victories. To date he has captured 19 NCAA championships, 21 overall national championships, 24 conference titles and compiled a legacy unmatched by few college coaches in any sport. In 49 seasons, Scates has coached 52 different first-team NCAA All-Americans, 44 U.S. National Team members, 27 Olympians, 26 USVBA All-Americans and seven collegiate Players of the Year.
In addition, he is the only coach to lead three teams to undefeated records (1979, '82 and '84), and he has also led the Bruins to three consecutive NCAA titles three times, including four in a row from 1981-84. His teams have recorded 48 playoff appearances and the same number of winning seasons during his coaching era. He guided the Bruins to 46 consecutive winning seasons from 1963-2008.
"Al Scates stands alone in his contributions to the sport of men's volleyball," said athletic director Dan Guerrero. 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."
A six-time National Coach of the Year, Scates is a member of four halls of fame: The AVCA Hall of Fame, the UCLA Athletics Hall of Fame, the California Beach Volleyball Hall of Fame and the Volleyball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mass. In October 2003, he became the first active UCLA coach to be inducted into the school's hall of fame; he was also the first active coach inducted into the Volleyball Hall of Fame in 1995. In 2003, he received the UCLA Alumni Association Award for Professional Achievement.
"It is a privilege to coach the fine men that have participated and continue to compete for UCLA volleyball," said Scates. "I have enjoyed being a continuous member of UCLA volleyball since I walked onto the team as a junior in 1959. Our coach at the time, Dr. Glen Egstrom, taught me how to play the game and after I earned my Master's degree in 1962, Glen encouraged me to apply for the head coaching job when he left campus. I was hired by athletic director Wilbur Johns to coach the 1962-63 UCLA team and I've enjoyed every minute of it."
In 2006, Scates guided the Bruins to their most exciting NCAA title, taking a team that was 12-12 through mid-season and leading it on a 14-match march through the last third of the league season, the MPSF playoffs and the NCAA Tournament. No player earned AVCA 1st Team All-America or 1st Team All-MPSF honors, and yet, when the dust settled at the end of the season, the Bruins were NCAA champions once again. Their final record was 26-12 and they became the first seventh-seeded team in league history to win the conference tournament.
In 2000, senior Brandon Taliaferro inspired the Bruins on the court and Scates prepared them for a run to the national championship. Forced to win the grueling MPSF Championship, the Bruins defeated defending NCAA champion BYU in the first round, beat Loyola Marymount in the semifinals and ousted Pepperdine in the league championship match to earn the top seed at the NCAAs. Then, UCLA swept Penn State in the semifinals and Ohio State in the finals to capture title No. 18.
In all, Scates has won NCAA titles in 1970-71-72-74-75-76-79-81-82-83-84-87-89-93-95-96-98-2000 and '06. In addition to their 19 NCAA titles, Scates guided the Bruins to a pair of USVBA titles in 1965 and 1967. He was named Coach of the Year in 1984, '87, '93, '96, '98 and 2006. His 49-year record of 1,217-282 (.812) is one of the best in collegiate sports and ranks first among all Division I volleyball head coaches in both genders.