1918 - 2021: Bertha Lucas (2018 IVHF Mintonette Medallion of Merit Award Winner) passed away on June 11th. Bertha's built-in historical knowledge base of USA Volleyball through her long-time service to the organization and sustained membership was matched by very few. She was involved in the sport for nearly 90 years.
Lucas, who turned 100 in November of 2018, attended her 65th consecutive USA Volleyball Open National Championships that same May, a record all to her own. And she played competitively in the Opens until 2003 at the age of 85. Lucas only stopped playing competitively at the Opens because she couldn’t serve overhand any longer.
Lucas continued to make the annual trek to the Open National Championships even after she stopped competing because the sport had become like a second family to her.
Berthas’ family had become a major part of the sport as well with about 15 extended family members who became involved. Her family includes daughter Nancy Evans a AA player, and daughter Patti Lucas Bright. Patti (a 1996 IVHF Inductee) and her husband, Mike Bright (1993 IVHF Inductee), both played in the 1964 and 1968 Olympic Games.
Berthas’ volleyball relationships ran the gamut of player, teacher, coach, manager, international chaperone, national player representative, National Governing Body member, USA Volleyball Board of Directors member, tournament director, clinician, innovator, promoter, surrogate mother to volleyball hopefuls, real mother to two USA Volleyball All-Americans and Nationals most valuable players and the list could go on and on. Lucas also coached several women who went on to play in the Olympics or international competition, beyond just her daughter Patti.
In 1962 Bertha was elected national player representative to the USA Volleyball Board of Governing Members. Her contributions to volleyball were recognized in 1966 with selection as a Leader in Volleyball recipient. Also in 1966, Lucas was elected to the USAV Board of Directors’ executive committee and served two consecutive terms until 1979.
Bertha won almost every major award in USVBA/USA Volleyball. She was on the board of directors for both the U.S. Olympic Committee and USA Volleyball. She traveled as team manager with the U.S. Women in Tokyo in 1964. Lucas was one of the visionaries who helped form the Great Lakes Region and was on its board of directors for years.
Bertha was the inaugural recipient of the Harry E. Wilson Award for Community Service in 1980. One year later in 1981, she was recognized with the Dr. Harold T. Friermood “Frier” Award, the highest honor that USA Volleyball bestows on an annual basis. Later, she was presented with the inaugural All-Time Great Coach Award in 1995 and the award for the pioneer division is now named in her honor.
Bertha is survived by her daughter Nancy Lucas Evans, nine grandchildren, 19 great grandchildren, and 7 great great grands, with one on the way. She is preceded in death by her husband Johnny and her daughter Patti.
Bertha Lucas was a mother, an inspiration, a mentor, a friend, and a legend. She will be remembered fondly.
The International Volleyball Hall of Fame (IVHF) is proud to announce its induction class of 2021. This group spans a wide range of volleyball history and accomplishments and we are excited to help recognize them for their legendary achievements.
The 35th Induction class includes nine honorees: four-time Olympian and two-time gold medal winner Giovane Gavio (Brazil); four-time Olympian, two-time gold and two-time silver medal winner Sergio Dutra Santos (Brazil); two-time Olympic gold medal winner Taismary Aguero (Cuba/Italy); six-time Olympian winning one gold, a silver, and two bronze medals Sergey Tetyukhin (Russia); three-time Olympian and gold medal winner Clay Stanley (USA); four-time Olympian and two-time silver medal winner Logan Tom (USA); three-time Olympian with one gold, one silver, and one bronze medal Ricardo Santos (Brazil); two-time Olympian and gold medal winner Todd Rogers (USA); and former President of the European Confederation and Second Executive Vice President of the FIVB Andre Meyer (Luxembourg) inducted as a leader.
“It is great to be opening up in the US and it is even better that we will get to meet in-person later this year in Holyoke to honor this amazing Class of 2021” said IVHF President Steve Bishop, also the President of the Florida Region of USA Volleyball. “After a pause in 2020 due to the pandemic, we have expanded our 2021 class to recognize even more legends in our sport and continue this annual tradition. Welcoming the inductees to the birthplace of volleyball is a very memorable experience for them and a bucket list item that every volleyball enthusiast should experience in their life. On behalf of our board of directors, I congratulate this class for their outstanding contributions to our sport and I look forward to celebrating with them in October.”
While this is a larger class than normal, the IVHF Board of Directors and Induction Committee felt it was important to make up for not having an induction in 2020 to continue to honor the greats in our sport. All told, the IVHF has inducted 146 individuals from 24 countries into its historic Hall of Fame - that number will increase to 155 from 25 countries after the 2021 Enshrinement.
"This Class has been two years in the making and we are excited to be back again celebrating the careers and legacies of these nine incredible Inductees." said IVHF Executive Director George Mulry in a live video message announcing the new Class. "This is going to be a truly remarkable Induction Celebration in October and I hope volleyball fans from all over will make the trip to Holyoke or tune-in to the live broadcast. It's going to be a very special event."
The 2021 International Volleyball Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony and events will take place in and around Holyoke, Mass., Oct. 15-16, 2021. Tickets are available at VolleyHall.org/Induction-Celebration. Plans are still being made with Covid-19 considerations for safe induction events. We encourage all volleyball enthusiasts to sign up to become a member of the IVHF through our new membership program, which will provide you behind-the-scenes and exclusive content before, during and after Induction Weekend. For more information on the membership program, visit VolleyHall.org/memberships.
International Volleyball Hall of Fame honors William Morgan's legacy celebrating of 126 years of Volleyball
HOLYOKE, MA – In December of 1895, a Physical Director named William Morgan introduced a new game to his class of local businessmen in the third-floor gymnasium at the YMCA in Holyoke, Massachusetts. Morgan needed something these older gentlemen could play after work or at lunch time that provided exercise but no physical contact. He termed this new game Mintonette.
The objective of this game seemed simple; volley a ball in the air sending it over a 6'6" high net to your opponents floor. And though admittedly incomplete, it proved successful enough to win an audience at the YMCA Physical Director's Conference held in Springfield, Massachusetts several months later. It was at this conference Dr. Alfred Halstead, a professor at the YMCA Training School (now Springfield College), suggested a two-word version of its present name - "Volley Ball" - and it stuck.
“The International Volleyball Hall of Fame is proud to promote and preserve the game we love,” said George Mulry, IVHF Executive Director. “COVID caused us to pause our 125th anniversary celebration but we're back and ready to celebrate 126 years of volleyball's greatest moments and people. The game has reached far more people than Morgan could have ever imagined and we look forward to commemorating his legacy and the great game of volleyball during this momentous anniversary.”
Throughout 2021 the International Volleyball Hall of Fame and the volleyball community will celebrate 126 years of volleyball – a game that has grown tremendously on the global stage and positively impacted an immeasurable number of players, coaches and fans.
Beginning in the summer of 2021, the official IVHF social media (@vbhalloffame) will host a number of volleyball-themed countdowns including the Top Moments in the History of Volleyball. Fans are encouraged to use the hashtag #Volleyball126th to share their special volleyball moments and memories.
The IVHF will hold a one-of-a-kind Auction on www.volleyhall.org. where volleyball fans will have the opportunity to bid on collectibles of the game including the actual inductee plaques previously displayed at the Museum and autographed IVHF Induction memorabilia from the IVHF's private collection.
The festivities will culminate with the Induction of the newest class of inductees on October 16, 2021. Additional special events may be unveiled throughout the year.
The list of 25 nominees for the International Volleyball Hall of Fame 2021 Induction has been announced and the Fan Vote presented by Mizuno is now officially open through February 28. Fans can vote daily for as many nominees as they feel are deserving of Induction. The top 5 nominees selected by the public will comprise a "fans' ballot" that will be tallied along with the official selection committee ballots to pick the Class of 2021 inductees.
"These 25 nominees represent 11 different countries and some of the biggest names in volleyball from the past two decades and beyond." said George Mulry, Executive Director of the International Volleyball Hall of Fame. "Having to skip the 2020 class of Inductees because of COVID has created a bit of a backlog that's resulted in what is, by many accounts, the strongest list of nominees top to bottom we've ever had. I think it's going to be really hard for people to narrow down their Fan Vote selections but it will also make this year's Induction that much more special for the selected class."
The new class of Inductees will be announced in March and the 2021 Induction Celebration is scheduled for Saturday, October 23, 2021 and will be live streamed for anyone that cannot travel to Holyoke. Induction Celebration tickets will go on sale when the new class is announced.
Please enjoy this guest article from 2010 Inductee Gabriella Kotsis of Hungary as she shares her story of Hungary's upset win over Brazil at the 1970 FIVB World Championship.
The 1970 FIVB Volleyball Women's World Championship was the sixth edition of the tournament organized by the world's governing body. It was held in Bulgaria from September 22 to October 2, 1970.
KOTSIS: I am here today at 93 years old. I'm very happy to have lived to see this special anniversary of 50 years. Primarily because I was able to personally assist with the first steps of volleyball in Hungary and later able to give our name to a successful era with my dear and loved players. At that time, of course, we did not think we could get into the history books with our achievements at the 1970 World Championship in Varna. We played selflessly. We were guided only by the love of volleyball. Maybe that's why my team became so successful.
It is true that we exploded into the international forefront with our World Championship result at the time almost out of obscurity and we qualified Hungarian women's volleyball for the 1972 Olympics with this as well. We caught up to the men who already had Olympic experience in the 1964 Tokyo Games. It was a huge success for us.
After that, the women continued their successful performance, both in international tournaments and in the three Olympics in which we were able to participate. This series of successes lasted for almost a decade and a half! We always finished in scoring position as we gave the best we could.
At that time, only the Soviet national team could win - several times in very close matches - against our team in Europe.
I am most proud of my team and my players, who followed my instructions with an incredible work ethic during the training sessions, almost suffering for later results.
I always said, it was the players on the court that achieved those successes. I, with the help of my excellent coaches, colleagues, only helped them to develop their talents. I'm very happy if my advice, our advice, helped them in time and the best situation. So the real merit belongs to the team, which was really, in all capital letters, a TEAM, and it was one of its great strengths.
Finally, I am also proud to have been a member of the IVHF, although I would have preferred to have given my place to my team, who would actually have been entitled to this honor.
So much time has passed since this beautiful period and unfortunately some of my former players can no longer be with us.
We also have to pay tribute to their memory on the anniversary. Rest in peace!
Dr. Gabriella KOTSIS,
2010 IVHF Inductee in the Coach Category
The International Volleyball Hall of Fame (IVHF) will host the Inaugural IVHF Nationwide Ride and Run the weekend of Oct. 24-25, 2020, to honor volleyball’s history and Our Military Kids (OMK), which supports programming for military families. The event is a collection of group or individual motorcycle rides paired with virtual bike rides and runs which directly impacts the programming and offerings of the IVHF and OMK, as 100% of dollars raised will support the missions of each organization.
“In an effort to celebrate the long history and partnership between volleyball and the U.S. Armed Forces, we are honored to partner with Our Military Kids to launch this unique event,” said Steve Bishop, President of the IVHF Board of Directors and Air Force Veteran. “There will be in-person group motorcycle rides held in Holyoke, MA, the birthplace of volleyball, as well as Jacksonville, FL and the greater Orlando, FL and Houston, TX areas. There is also a virtual component for those interested in joining in the fun in any form, whether a novice or avid enthusiast. We invite others from around the country to join us this September.”
“Our Board has worked hard to create an inclusive group of events that people can participate in anywhere in the world. This event, with its virtual options, is a great way for fans of volleyball and of the Hall of Fame, regardless of where they live, to ride, pedal or run with us and join in supporting the missions of two great organizations,” said George Mulry, IVHF Executive Director. “We’d love to see participants from every state and multiple countries around the world become part of this special celebration.”
The IVHF is partnering with Our Military Kids for this event to help raise funds to provide support to military families. OMK provides $300 grants for extracurricular activities for children of deployed National Guard and Reserve service members as well as children whose military parent is severely injured and in recovery. The activities reduce stress, improve school performance, raise self-esteem, and boost the well-being for the entire family.
“We are absolutely thrilled to be partnering with the IVHF as supporters of both organizations ride, pedal, and run to raise dollars to impact the great sport of volleyball and military children,” said Kara Dallman, Executive Director of OMK, Veteran, and Division I volleyball athlete. “Let’s do this!”
Registration is open now for virtual participation as well as the in-person rides. The price for virtual participation is $30, while the motorcycle rides range from $20-$30. All registrations include a commemorative pin to celebrate this special event. To be entered into drawings for prizes, all participants are encouraged to share their experience on Instagram using #RidePedalRun and tag @vbhalloffame and @ourmilitarykids. And even if you don’t feel like getting off the couch, you can easily donate to support both great organizations!
For more information, or to register or donate, please visit VolleyHall.org/NationwideRide.
This will be only the second time since the first induction was held in 1985 that the annual celebration will not be held. There will not be a designated induction Class of 2020. Instead, the IVHF will recognize its next class of inductees in the fall of 2021.
“We looked at every possible option to hold the event in 2020 including hosting a virtual Induction but it was clear that the right decision was to cancel,” stated Mulry. “Most importantly, we strive to honor the inductees in the proper way they are most deserving of. Our next Induction Class should enjoy the same wonderful experience in the Birthplace of Volleyball as previous classes and they will have that opportunity next Fall.”
There is still one major event on the IVHF calendar for 2020. The Nationwide Charity Ride & Run, a collection of virtual bike and running events along with in-person Motorcycle rides will take place across the U.S. September 12-13, 2020. For more information on the Nationwide Charity Ride & Run, or to register or donate, please visit VolleyHall.org/NationwideRide.
The IVHF exists to preserve the history of volleyball in its birthplace of Holyoke, Massachusetts USA by honoring, promoting and sharing its story with the world.