MALIBU, Calif. — The accolades keep coming for Pepperdine’s acclaimed coach Nina Matthies. Soon to be inducted into the American Volleyball Coaches Association’s Hall of Fame this fall, Matthies will also be receiving USA Volleyball’s All-Time Greatest Female Beach Volleyball Player Award in 2016.
The award is bestowed upon players based on their records of competitive achievement at the highest international and/or domestic levels, with additional consideration given to sportsmanship and character. The player is also considered for any exceptional contributions that have furthered the growth, reputation and character of the sport. Matthies will be honored and presented the award at the Boyce Banquet held in conjunction with the Adult Nationals Tournament in May.
Matthies, who will be just the second person to receive this award, fits the award requirements in a multitude of ways, as a former player, current coach and pioneer of how beach volleyball is viewed today.
As a player, Matthies was widely recognized as one of the world’s most elite. She won 43 titles and garnered 93 podium finishes in 139 career starts on the beach. She has earned spots in the Beach Volleyball Hall of Fame and the Manhattan Beach Volleyball Walk of Fame. Volleyball Magazine named her one of the “Most Influential People in the First 100 Years of Volleyball” and in 2004, she was named to the 75th Anniversary All-Era Team by USA Volleyball.
In the mid-80s, Matthies was a leader in the successful effort to create the Women’s Professional Volleyball Association. The WPVA was key in improving the national visibility of the women’s beach tour. She was inducted into the WPVAs Hall of Fame in 1995, in addition to being honored as one of the “20 Legends of Beach Volleyball” in 1997 at a ceremony at UCLA.
As a coach for Pepperdine beach volleyball, Matthies has led the Waves to AVCA national championships in both 2012 and 2014, and to a second-place finish in 2013 and third place in 2015. She was the first-ever to be named AVCA National Coach of the Year in 2013.
Matthies was also instrumental as an advocate for what the NCAA deemed an “emerging sport” prior to the first season in 2012. In the upcoming 2016 season, beach volleyball will be recognized as a NCAA championship sport. Matthies served as the chair of the AVCA Sand Volleyball Head Coaches’ Committee and is currently a part of the NCAA Beach Volleyball committee.
Matthies has been influential not only to the Waves on the beach, but also the Waves indoor program. In 31 seasons on the sidelines, she led Pepperdine to 11 West Coast Conference titles and 20 NCAA Tournament appearances. She retired as the WCCs all-time winningest coach with a career overall record of 590-343 (.632) and a conference record of 320-90 (.780). She was honored as the WCC Coach of the Year seven times and as co-Coach of the Year three times during her tenure. She also earned national recognition on three separate occasions: in 1999 as the District 8 Coach of the Year, in 2002 as the Pacific Region Coach of the Year and in 2003 as the Pacific Region co-Coach of the Year.