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On Scates ...

All aboard, volleyball fans. It's onward and upward to Westwood, Los Angeles. Home of mighty UCLA, to pay homage to the two coaches (one retired) with the most awesome combined won-lost record in the book.

No. 1 is, of course, John Wooden. In his 25 years as basketball coach, he won 566 Division 1 games plus 10 national championships--seven in a row!

The other coach's name does not trip off the tongue as easily, unless you are a volleyball fan, and then the name comes on like 76 trombones.


It is Al Scates, a volleyball coach who has won over a thousand games and 18 NCAA championships while recording an .858 winning percentage over the past 40 years.

That's the kind of stuff that legends are made of and Al Scates has been doing it all his life--or at least the part of his life that began in 1973. We were looking for someone to write some volleyball articles for us and a pretty fair track coach named Jim Bush told us about the volleyball coach at his school (UCLA).

"We got a guy named Al Scates," he told us. "He's a high school teacher, he writes books, he's a rules man, he coaches volleyball at UCLA, and he's going to be our Olympic coach someday."

The commercial proved absolutely true. Scates wrote three articles for us and they were all great. So was he. (When you ask a genius how he got that way and he answers the way Al Scates does in our Person to Person interview with him in this issue, you know that you are dealing with a very special person.)

"Everything I know about coaching I learned from my high school coach, Bill Rankin, and from John Wooden. John is the greatest coach this country has ever produced. I would watch his practices and model my volleyball practices after his. I'd employ a variety of drills with quick switches from drill to drill, while giving directions quickly and succinctly without stopping the pace of the drill.

"I learned those things by observation and from John's first book, which had nothing to do with volleyball and everything to do with coaching."
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Title Annotation:Here Below; volleyball coach Al Scates
Author:Masin, Herman L.
Publication:Coach and Athletic Director
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Oct 1, 2003
Previous Article:Q & A strength/conditioning: part I.
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