Born: April 9, 1930 in Amsterdam, New York (United States)
Died: August 27, 2003 in Indianapolis, Indiana (United States)
Country: United States
Wilbur Peck started playing volleyball in Amsterdam, New York, at the age of twelve, and his love of the sport led to a long and distinguished career in physical education with the YMCA. He attended Springfield College and earned a Bachelor of Science in 1952 while playing for the Springfield College team under Coach Marshall Walters. After graduation, he joined the U.S. Army and was stationed in Washington for two years where he served in the Presidential Honor Guard and played volleyball for the Army team. After his discharge, Peck returned to Springfield College for a Master of Science in Guidance and Personnel Services.
Wil spent his career working in YMCA management. He started as Associate Physical Director of the Central Queens, NY, branch in 1955, and retired from the Presidency of the Greater Indianapolis, Indiana, YMCA in 1994. Under the YMCA aegis in 1964, he conducted a series of coaching, playing and officiating clinics for the U.S. Army, and his beautifully illustrated book on the fundamentals of winning volleyball play was published in 1970. He directed the 1982 NORCECA Games, which were held in Indianapolis, and served as Commissioner of Volleyball at the 1987 Pan-American Games.
Serving in virtually every leadership capacity in the United States Volleyball Association, Wil first became involved with the organization as a National College Champion player at Springfield College. He became Chairman of the Officials from 1959 to 1964, and was elected Secretary from 1963 to 1970 and President from 1971 to 1979. He retired in 1980 to become Chairman of the Special Events Division and, in 1984, Chairman of the Financial Development Division. He is still active as the President of the USA Volleyball Educational Foundation, a post he has held since 1971.
Wil has also served as a Board member of the United States Olympic Committee (from 1972 to 1996). He has served on a number of sub-committees during that time and held a variety of important posts including Chairman of the Membership Committee and Chairman of the National Sports Governing Bodies Steering Committee.
Under his leadership, USA Volleyball changed from an all-volunteer organization, hosting mainly YMCA championships, to a dynamic professional organization involved with every aspect of volleyball development in the United States. Working with the organization’s first executive director, Peck spearheaded a major long-range planning effort and started the year-round National Team training program, which produced the 1984 and 1988 Olympic Gold Medal-winning men’s teams.
Wilbur Peck is being inducted into the Volleyball Hall of Fame for his vision and tireless leadership in the sport of volleyball throughout the United States and around the world.