TC279: Nina Matthies, Pepperdine Beach Volleyball

We’re not only headed to California today, but we’re going to the beach. And not just any beach, but the legendary Zuma Beach. Although this is a place that’s been featured in film and song, we’re going to check out Beach Volleyball in this episode with the equally legendary volleyball coach, Nina Matthies. Nina first made a name for herself on the sand at Manhattan Beach, then at UCLA, then on the pro volleyball circuit, but after launching her coaching career at UCLA, she spent the next 31 years building the indoor volleyball powerhouse at Pepperdine University. That’s not the end of the story, however, as Coach Matthies approached the Pepperdine administration with a proposition to launch a beach volleyball program at the Malibu school. The rest, as they say, is history.

In this episode, Coach Matthies talks about growing up in Manhattan Beach (the daughter of a couple of Iowa farmers), playing sports with her brothers, her ability to play and adapt to most every sport she tried (how about a 4.6 40?), playing club volleyball through high school, the relative lack of athletic options for females in the 1970’s, traveling Europe after high school, the many “most influential” lists that she’s on, helping to create the Women’s Professional Volleyball Association (WPVA), the emergence of beach volleyball worldwide, the growth of college beach volleyball (now 70+ teams in NCAA play), providing a strong female role model, and having only four assistant coaches in 31 years of indoor volleyball.

Follow Pepperdine Beach Volleyball on Twitter.

photo credit: Pepperdine Athletics
Intro Music: Matt’s Blues, Kevin MacLeod (
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License

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