Eugene Selznick

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Eugene Selznick
Personal information
Full nameEugene Bleecher Selznick
BornMarch 19, 1930 (1930-03-19)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
DiedJune 10, 2012 (2012-06-11) (aged 82)

Eugene Bleecher Selznick[1] (March 19, 1930 – June 10, 2012) was an American Hall of Fame former volleyball player, and volleyball coach.[2][3]

Early life[edit]

Selznick, who was Jewish, was born in Los Angeles, California.[4][5][6][7] He also lived in Canoga Park, California.[8] Selznick attended Manual Arts High School in Los Angeles.[9] He was a physical education major in college, and first began to play volleyball in 1949.[7]

Volleyball career[edit]

Volleyball teams that Selznick played on won seven U.S. Open Volleyball Championships in 1951–53, 1956, 1960, 1965, and 1966, as well as seven runner-up titles.[4] He was the USA Volleyball (USVBA) MVP in 1959, 1960, and 1962.[10]

He was captain of the United States men's national volleyball team from 1953 to 1967.[4] His teams won the 1960 and 1966 FIVB Volleyball Men's World Championships.[4][10][11]

Selznick's teams also wongold medals at the Pan-American Games in 1955 and 1959.[5][10] He was a member of the U.S. volleyball team at the Maccabiah Games in 1957, 1961, and 1973.[12]

He was an early supporter of California beach volleyball, and was designated the “First King of Beach Volleyball”.[4][11][13][14] Selznick played with Ev Keller to win the 1950 California Beach Men’s Open.[2][4] He later played with partner Don McMahon.[4] He won every Laguna Beach Open from 1955 to 1961.[10]

Selznick introduced Wilt Chamberlain to volleyball, and took him on a national tour in the 1970s.[10]

Coaching career[edit]

Selznick coached the US women's volleyball team, which won the gold medal at the 1963 Pan American Games and the 1964 Olympic Games.[4] He also coached women’s teams that won six USVBA titles (1959–61, and 1963–65).[4]

Selznick coached Olympic athletes Carl Henkel, Misty May, Holly McPeak, and Sinjin Smith.[4][11]


Selznick was named to the All America first team 10 times, beginning in 1951.[2][4][10][15] He won the 1956 international competition All-Star team MVP honor of "Mr. All-World".[4]

The FIVB named Selznick as one of the top American players of the 20th century.[4] The U.S. Volleyball Hall of Fame honored him as the “All-Time Great Male Player”.[4] In 1995, Volleyball magazine called him the "Karch Kiraly of his era."[2]

Selznick was elected to the Volleyball Hall of Fame in 1988.[2][4][10] He was inducted into the International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame in 2002.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ According to the State of California. California Birth Index, 1905–1995. Center for Health Statistics, California Department of Health Services, Sacramento, California. Searchable at
  2. ^ a b c d e "Gene Selznick; United States". Beach Volleyball Database. Retrieved August 18, 2011.
  3. ^ "Beach volleyball legend Gene Selznick dies in LA - -". Retrieved 2012-06-12.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p "Eugene Selznick". International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame. Retrieved August 18, 2011.
  5. ^ a b Bernard Postal; Jesse Silver; Roy Silver (1965). Encyclopedia of Jews in sports. Bloch Pub. Co. Retrieved August 18, 2011. Eugene Selznick.
  6. ^ Bob Wechsler (2008). Day by day in Jewish sports history. Retrieved August 18, 2011.
  7. ^ a b Encyclopedia of Jews in sports. October 9, 2008. Retrieved August 18, 2011.
  8. ^ Baxter Holmes, "Gene Selznick Dies at 82," Los Angeles Times, June 12, 2012
  9. ^ "Gymnast Sakamoto Inducted into LAUSD High School Sports Hall of Fame". June 8, 2011. Retrieved August 18, 2011.
  10. ^ a b c d e f g "Honorees". Volleyball Hall of Fame. Archived from the original on March 30, 2012. Retrieved August 18, 2011.
  11. ^ a b c Misty May-Treanor; Jill Lieber Steeg (2010). Misty: Digging Deep in Volleyball and Life. Simon and Schuster. Retrieved August 18, 2011.
  12. ^ "Maccabi Volleyball". Maccabi Volleyball. Retrieved 2012-06-12.
  13. ^ Karch Kiraly; Byron Shewman (1999). Beach volleyball. Human Kinetics. p. 4. Retrieved August 18, 2011. Gene Selznick.
  14. ^ Victoria Sherrow (2002). Volleyball. Lucent Books. Retrieved August 18, 2011. Gene Selznick.
  15. ^ United States Olympic Committee (1957). United States Olympic book. Retrieved August 18, 2011.

External links[edit]