Born: December 13, 1960
Country: United States
Category: Male Beach Player
Randy Stoklos became interested in volleyball because his parents did not care for full-contact sports. But it was full contact every time Stoklos hit the ball.
Stoklos played indoor volleyball at UCLA and was briefly a member of the U.S. Men’s National Indoor Team. But it was on the beach that Stoklos had the greatest impact on the sport. He began playing beach volleyball at Muscle Beach in Venice, Calif., with partner Joe Gold, and went on to dominate the beach scene during his 11-year reign of terror with Sinjin Smith, their achievements helping to elevate beach volleyball from a Southern California game to a global sport.
Stoklos earned his first beach volleyball trophy at the 1976 Sorrento Beach “A” Tournament. After honing his skills, he won his first Parks and Recreation (the predecessor to the Association of Volleyball Professionals) tournament in 1981, teaming with another legendary king of the beach, Jim Menges, to win the prestigious Manhattan Beach Open. His earnings for that win, plus four second-place finishes, three thirds and the one fourth-place finish that year totaled just $1,050, but Stoklos went on to become the first player to earn $1 million playing beach volleyball, reaching that milestone by winning the Honolulu Open in 1992. He finished his career with nearly $2 million in total winnings.
Stoklos won 15 Parks and Recreation tourneys and 96 AVP titles, taking his first of three U.S. Championships in 1982, his first full year on the tour. The Stoklos-Smith team won again in 1988 and ’90. Stoklos won the Manhattan Beach Open three more times, twice with Smith and once with Adam Johnson. Stoklos became the second player to reach 100 career victories when he won the Phoenix Open with Smith in 1992.
Individual honors piled up, as Stoklos was named the AVP’s Most Valuable Player in 1988, 1989, and 1991 and Best Setter in 1989. Internationally, Stoklos was the FIVB Tour champion with Smith in 1989-93, and was named MVP of the Italian, Brazilian, and Australian tours in 1992.
Stoklos continued to find success after his 11-year partnership with Smith ended. He won the Chicago Open with Brian Lewis in 1993, and grabbed three titles, including the 1994 Manhattan Beach Open, with Adam Johnson. Stoklos and Johnson also won the Boston and New York Open titles in 1995.
Off the beach, Stoklos has modeled for numerous product advertisements, including a national campaign for Coppertone Sport Sunscreen. He has appeared on the covers of M and Men’s Fitness magazines. He was featured on television’s Inside Edition and appeared in Tri-Star Pictures’ “Side Out” in 1990.
Now retired from professional competition, Stoklos continues to compete in local tournaments and runs a beach volleyball camp with Smith.
We welcome Randy Stoklos as a 2008 Inductee to the Volleyball Hall of Fame.