Richard "Rick" Lajoie
2010 Mintonette Medallion of Merit Award Winner
Biography (Current at time of award):
As a self-professed sports nut, Richard (Rick) Lajoie played soccer in college and was an avid tennis player. He began coaching youth sports in soccer and baseball after graduation from Saint Michael's College in 1975. In January 1985 he joined the Hall of Fame committee.
Lajoie immediately got involved with the history of the sport and researched the biography on William G. Morgan as the first Inductee and then did the same for nearly every inductee since. He has also served as the first archivist. In 1985, he traveled with Bob Gilbert to make the first official contact with the National Governing Body of USA Volleyball on behalf of the Volleyball Hall of Fame.
In 1987, he served as the induction chair and developed the "Induction Celebration" program that included the first Hall of Fame Classic, a players' clinic, the afternoon Induction Ceremony, and Induction Dinner. Lajoie continued for several years to further develop the Hall of Fame Classic, arranging for teams and serving as event coordinator.
As the Induction Celebration grew, Lajoie developed and designed the Court of Honor Award, the Morgan Award, and the Mintonette Medallion of Merit Awards for the Hall of Fame. He also wrote and directed the Hall of Fame Inductee videos including researching the Inductees backgrounds.
As the 1995 Volleyball Centennial grew nearer, Lajoie helped write the successful bid for the Hall to host the NCAA National Collegiate Men's Volleyball Championship and the USA Volleyball Open National Championships at Westover Air Force Base. He also worked with the NCAA to bring the Division I Women's Championships to UMass.
Along the way, Lajoie held several administrative positions on the Hall of Fame board including serving as president from 1990 to 1993. He also developed and wrote the Hall's first newsletter, NETWORK.
Outside of volleyball, Lajoie worked as a tax auditor for the Massachusetts Department of Revenue since 1982. He has also worked as a sports writer for the Springfield Republican Newspaper where he was awarded the Bill Keating Award for coverage of the Golden Gloves Boxing Tournament by the Holyoke Boys Club.