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John Koch

Enshrined: 1994

Country: United States

Category: Leader

Biography (Current at time of Induction)

John Koch's love of volleyball began in 1929 when, as a schoolboy, he played volleyball at the YMCA in Louisville, Kentucky and extended until his death in May of 1994. Volleyball enthusiasts knew him as Mr. Volleyball, for he was involved with all facets of the sport: as a player, an official, and an inventor.

In the area of equipment testing and design, John made his greatest contributions. He developed the antennas, referee stands, designed the trailer for storing and transporting USA Volleyball equipment, determined and specified the portable scoreboard requirements for the first commercial model designed and built specifically for volleyball, and he was he author of the USA Volleyball's manual on equipment and supplies.

In recognition of his achievements John received many awards: The 1965 Leader in Volleyball Award, the 1978 Referee Emeritus Award, and the 1987 USA Volleyball Frier Award, the highest level of recognition bestowed by USA Volleyball for long term commitment and service to the promotion and development of volleyball in the US and throughout the world.

In addition to his equipment contributions to the sport, he served as the Officials Chairman for USA Volleyball from 1962-1974 and he became a nationally certified referee in 1963.

John was a civil engineer for 41 years with the Army Corps of Engineers, retiring in 1970 as a Lt. Colonel.

He was survived by his wife Mildred Virginia Koch and his daughter, Virginia Lee Koch Sherman.