Mike Dodd, one of pro beach volleyball’s all-time greatest players, was named commissioner of the AVP today, CEO Jason Hodell announced.
The Manhattan Beach native and resident out of Mira Costa High won 75 titles over an 18-year career (1980-’97), including silver medal at the 1996 Summer Olympics with the late Mike Whitmarsh. Dodd is second all-time in tournaments played (337), sixth in titles and fourth in career earnings ($1.67 million).
“Mike is the perfect fit for a strategy of embracing the core volleyball community,” said Hodell. “His skills as a player, coach, broadcaster and ambassador are world class.”
Dodd says he comes into this position “humbled … One of my goals is to usher in an era of cooperation between the AVP, USA Volleyball, FIVB, and of course all our grass roots organizations and affiliate partners. I believe by working together, we can all better serve the sponsors and players we represent.”
Dodd, 53, was the coach for AVP stars Jake Gibb and Sean Rosenthal at the recent Beijing Olympics. He also captained Team USA to a win over Brazil’s best players in the inaugural AVP World Challenge last September.
Dodd is a five-time Manhattan Beach Open winner, with Tim Hovland (’82, ’83, ’84, ’85 and ’87). In 2009 he became the first to coach the men’s and women’s champions of the same Manhattan Beach Open (Gibb and Rosenthal on the men’s side and Nicole Branagh and Elaine Youngs on the women). He also has been doing broadcasting for NBC’s AVP coverage.
Leonard Armato has been the highest-profile AVP commissioner until he resigned in April, 2009. Armato had built the AVP from six events in 2002 to 31 events in 2008. Hodell had been acting commissioner since then. The AVP released a 12-event tour for this summer, beginning in April (linked here). Dodd actually played in one of his first beach events with Armato, the 1975 Marine Street Men’s Open and finished seventh.