|7/29/2014 12:43:00 PM|
Outlaws coach is 'all-time great player'
|These days Miki McFadden leads the Outlaws volleyball team on the sidelines, as the team's head coach. Once, she was out on the floor - and on the sand - playing elite-level volleyball. And this year, she was recognized by USA Volleyball with the All-time Great Player Award.|
McFadden qualified as an all-time great by playing on the top teams of her era. She was a National Team member for six years. She succeeded on three National Teams and at numerous national tournaments. She continued to dominate the 30, 35, 40, 45 and 50-and-over divisions in national tournaments, earning nine All American awards (five first-team) and was MVP in the 45-and-over division in 1998.
McFadden believes her ongoing passion for the game also played in to the award.
"I've stayed in the game," she said. "I coach. I don't play anymore because my body's thrashed. I think they decided I'm still hangin' in there..."
McFadden started out as a surfer - and a good one, growing up in Honolulu, Hawaii. But the waves don't always break, and when conditions were flat she headed for the volleyball courts and discovered a talent and a passion.
Miki played on the volleyball team at Punahou High School and was also state champion in swimming (50 and 100 freestyle). In 1966 she was named Hawaii's "State Athlete of the Year." During her senior year at Punahou, Miki made the first women's team ever to represent the state of Hawaii at the USVBA National Tournament, that year being held in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Miki received Honorable Mention All-American Team recognition in Grand Rapids.
During her freshman season playing at USC, McFadden also became a member of the U.S. National Team, and remained a member of the U.S. Team through 1972. Her tenure on the team included earning a silver medal at the World Championships in Japan in 1967, a trip to the Olympic Games in Mexico City in 1968, and earning a trip to the Pan-American Games in Cali, Columbia in 1971.
McFadden said that the awards event last May was particularly enjoyable. It was the 50th anniversary of the 1964 Olympic team, and she played with many of the same players in '68, so it was a kind of reunion for her. And her beach partner Kathy Gregory received her own honors as an all-time great coach for UC Santa Barbara.
McFadden is looking forward to the volleyball season in Sisters. A training camp last week set the tone (see related story, page 6).
"We have some really good talent," she said. "So it will just be a matter of having them be a team. That's always the challenge."
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