Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Chapter IX

Chapter IX: Results from Submitting the Report
Results from Submitting the Report Their exploits obscure for over fifty years, the champions of the two first-ever men's national collegiate volleyball tournaments were recognized and heralded by their alma mater, the University of Southern California on October 10, 2003. USC hosted a celebration dinner honoring the 16 surviving members of those two teams and their coach, Hans W. Vogel See Appendix J-1 Pages 1-2, at Heritage Hall on campus. Later that evening the honorees were introduced between games two and three of a USC women's volleyball match against Arizona State.

Mike Garrett, Athletic Director at USC, made the opening remarks lauding the landmark achievements of the two USC teams who captured the crown for the first two years intercollegiate men's volleyball national tournaments which were held in 1949 and 1950.

Of the 16 surviving players, 12 attended the dinner. Garrett introduced Katherine B. Loker See Appendix J-2 Pages 1-2, an honorary member of the USC Board of Trustees. Ms. Loker, recently deceased, is among the five largest individual donors to USC in its history. She was there as a special guest of the coach of the 1949 and 1950 teams, Hans W. Vogel. They were longtime friends.Garrett then called on Robbie Duron to make some remarks about the history of those championships from a player perspective. Duron was a second team All American in 1949 and a first team All American, team captain and MVP in 1950. He then introduced Coach Vogel.

Another special guest was Kerry J.W. Klostermann, Secretary General of USA Volleyball, who awarded each player and Vogel a volleyball signed by the present USA men's and women's volleyball teams mounted on an inscribed pedestal on behalf of his nation-wide organization recognizing their ground-breaking and historic contribution to the sport of intercollegiate volleyball.

In 1949 and 1950 the first two men's national collegiate volleyball championship tournaments were held and sponsored by the former United States Volleyball Association (USVBA) which now operates as USA Volleyball. The May 1949 double-elimination tournament was held at the Naval Armory in Chavez Ravine in Los Angeles. In the final match, the USC team, known for its power-volleyball style of play, met and defeated a Stanford team led by basketball Hall-of-Famer, George Yardley, by scores of 15-4, 15-2. That year USC placed two players on the First All-American team and three on the Second. One year later in May 1950 the USC team successfully defended its crown at the national tournament held at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. Two USC players were named to the First All-American team and two to the Second.

It all began in late 1948 when USC volleyball enthusiasts were first recruited and coached by Hans W. Vogel, an SC German language instructor. Before entering Army service in 1942, Vogel played the sport at the beach and as a member of the Long Beach YMCA volleyball team. After serving overseas in Europe during World War II under General George S. Patton, Jr., the former Military Intelligence Officer enrolled at USC in early 1946, majoring in German and International Relations. He received a Bachelor's degree from USC in 1947, and immediately entered USC's graduate school, simultaneously teaching in the university's German department. Two years later In 1949 he accepted a position as a Scientific German instructor at Cal Tech. The USC volleyball team disbanded shortly after Vogel left university teaching in mid-1950.

In September 2001 Vogel decided to find historical references to his teams' 1949 and 1950 exploits. Unearthing literally nothing, he contacted a director (John Kessel) of USA Volleyball headquartered in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Kessel encouraged him to write a thorough report backed up by verifiable documentation regarding those USC championships. In June, 2002, after nine months of research, Vogel had assembled a report consisting of 34 single-spaced pages in eight chapters. Newly updated to 60 pages, 9 Chapters & Appendix J As authentication for claims made in the report, they are footnoted to over 120 pages of attached copies of documents composed of photos, newspaper articles, receipts, correspondence, pages from journals and more.

After the completed report was sent to Kessel in June 2002, Vogel was visited at his home in North Tustin, California twice - in July and December 2002 - by Kerry J.W. Klostermann, Secretary General of USA Volleyball. Along with cover letters by Klostermann See Appendix J-3 & J-4, copies of the report were mailed to Dr. Steven Sample, President of USC, Mike Garrett, USC Athletic Director and the Volleyball Hall of Fame in Holyoke, Mass.

Garrett made a phone call to Vogel requesting additional information, which he followed up with a letter See Appendix J-5 asking him to locate and contact any surviving members of the two teams. Mike indicated that USC was considering holding a ceremonial dinner and introductions later at a volleyball match on campus properly memorializing the team members' achievements. He also said he would arrange to publish in perpetuity a brief statement94 See Appendix J-7 concerning those accomplishments in the USC Men's Volleyball annual media package beginning with the 2003 season. Dr. Sample also sent a friendly and positive letter See Appendix J-6.

Vogel has located and been in ongoing touch with 16 See Appendix J-8 of the 24 See Appendix J-9 Page s 1-2 & J-10 Pages 1-2 former team members from 1949 See Appendix J-11 Pages 1-3 and 1950. Five others have been confirmed to be deceased. Three have not been found.After the introduction by Robbie Duron, Vogel addressed those attending. See Appendix J-12 Pages 1-3.