May 28, 2010
Over 250 former student-athletes, coaches, colleagues and Bruin fans gathered on the floor of Pauley Pavilion on Fri., May 28 to honor retired head women's volleyball coach Andy Banachowski on his 43 years as the head coach of the UCLA Bruins.
As a student-athlete, Banachowski was a two-time All-America volleyball player for UCLA men's coach Al Scates and led the Bruins to USVBA National Championships in 1965 and 1967. However, Banachowski achieved legendary status by building the UCLA women's volleyball program into a national powerhouse. Until his retirement in January, Banachowski served as the Bruins' head coach for 43 years.
Banachowski guided the Bruins to six national championships and 1,106 victories, the most in collegiate women's volleyball history. He was named Pac-10 Coach of the Year five times, the Tachikara/AVCA National Coach of the Year in 1989 and 2006, and Volleyball Magazine Coach of the Year five times. He also received what is considered USA Volleyball's highest honor: the All-Time Great Coach Award, while simultaneously winning the George L. Fisher "Leader in Volleyball" award, which recognized his off-court endeavors.
Banachowski's players earned 98 all-conference awards, 49 All-Pacific Region honors, five Pac-10 Player of the Year plaques, and three Honda Award trophies, given to the nation's top collegiate player. No less than 18 of his athletes earned 32 AVCA All-America honors, and more than 20 former Bruins trained with the U.S. National Team. Banachowski also doubled as Scates' chief assistant from 1972-77, a period during which the Bruins won four NCAA men's titles (1972, '74, '75, '76). All told, Banachowski was involved with 12 UCLA national championship teams either as a player, assistant coach or head coach. In 1997, Banachowski became the first women's volleyball coach in history to be inducted into the National Volleyball Hall of Fame.
UCLA athletic director Dan Guerrero presented Banachowski with a framed #43 UCLA Volleyball Jersey.
The program included a video presentation and included thoughts from a few alums, former assistants and colleagues: Sharon McAlexander (1968-71, served as Banachowski's assistant coach & Assistant Athletic Director for women's athletics from 1972-79), Terry Liskevych (former USA women's national team head coach and current Oregon State head coach who co-founded CVCA [AVCA] in 1981 with Banachowski); Liz Masakayan (1982-85, player of the year on UCLA's 1984 National Championship Team, 1988 Olympian and former UCLA assistant coach from 1991-93); Nellie Spicer (2005- 2008, former All American and current member of the US National Team); and Greg Giovanazzi (1976-1978, UCLA Assistant Coach from 1984-1989, U.S. National Team Assistant Coach, and former head coach at Michigan and Johns Hopkins University).