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May 22 Kevin Twohig Selected as USA Volleyball’s 2013 Frier Winner

By Bill Kauffman | May 22, 2013, 11:04 p.m. (ET)

Bill Kauffman, USA Volleyball Senior Manager Communications, Phone: 719-228-6800, Email:
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (May 22, 2013) – USA Volleyball proudly announced Kevin Twohig as its 2013 Harold T. Friermood “Frier” Award recipient, the organization’s most prestigious honor, at the 68th Annual Dorothy Boyce Awards and Recognition Banquet Wednesday night at the Galt House Hotel in Louisville, Ky.

“Volleyball has been big in my life, it has been a big deal in my family’s life,” Twohig said. “I have been proud of my sons’ and wife’s involvement in the same sport as I am involved. As many of you know, that is one of the best things about the sport - we can all participate in it in one way or another."

The banquet, presented by Molten and co-sponsored by Mizuno, is one of the signature events during USA Volleyball’s Annual Meetings taking place May 20-24 in Louisville.

The Dr. Harold T. Friermood “Frier” Award, named in honor of the organization’s second president (1952-55), highlighted the evening of awards. The Frier Award is presented to an individual for long-time (minimum of 30 years), significant service to the sport of volleyball with at least 15 years of leadership positions at the national level.

Twohig began his USA Volleyball participation in 1979 when he played on a men’s club team in Washington and quickly became involved in all areas of the sport. Shortly afterwards he became a regional board member and chair. He earned his regional referee status in 1983 and was appointed to the Evergreen Region Board of Directors in 1985. In 1989, Twohig and his wife Barb founded the first junior boys’ program in Eastern Washington. The 1989 Washington State Centennial Games was the first competition for the newly formed Spokane Volleyball Club.

Twohig capped his regional participation when he was elected as the Evergreen Region Commissioner from 1991 to 1996. He served on the USA Volleyball Board of Directors as a Regional Volleyball Association (RVA) representative from 1994 to 1996.

Twohig moved onto the USA Volleyball Executive Committee in 1996 and served as the executive vice president for two quadrennials from 2001 to 2008. As part of his role as executive vice president, he chaired the corporation’s Ethics and Eligibility Committee, chaired the executive council and oversaw the conduct of the arbitrator/evaluator program in which he helped create. Twohig also supervised the conduct of all national qualifying events and the Championship Events Commission.

Following the re-organization of the USA Volleyball Board of Directors, Twohig assumed the position of at-large director in 2008 and briefly was the interim chair of the board. After serving USAV in many positions, he currently serves on the USAV Board of Directors as treasurer, the position he first held in 1996. Twohig has recently returned to the Evergreen Region Board as assistant commissioner.

"I have really enjoyed the people I have met, particularly on the board because we have had to work so closely together to move this organization along," Twohig said. "I was a terrible referee, and if anybody calls me a referee, they are making a mistake. I really appreciate officials, and I know I am not. But I do know a thing or two about business and that is what I have tried to help this organization with throughout my time on the board. It has been fantastic for me, and this is a fantastic sport for a lifetime.”

While he was Evergreen Region Commissioner and Director of the Spokane Coliseum, Twohig encouraged and promoted the U.S. National Volleyball Teams to make several visits to Spokane including a USA versus Brazil exhibition match in the Spokane Coliseum in 1989. Both the U.S. Men’s and Women’s National Volleyball Teams played in the Spokane Arena during its grand opening month in 1995.

Twohig was also instrumental in establishing the Pacific Northwest Qualifier, which was awarded to the Evergreen Region in 1997 and continues today to be a premier event in the northwest and played in the Convention Center.

Twohig, who received USA Volleyball’s George J. Fisher Leader in Volleyball Award in 2003, has worked in the business of operating public assembly facilities for 40 years, and is currently the executive director of the Spokane Public Facilities District which includes the Spokane Arena, Convention Center and Performing Arts center. The Spokane Arena, a financially and programmatically successful 12,000-seat sports and entertainment facility in Spokane, Wash., was the site of the 1997 NCAA Division I Women’s Volleyball Championship, which sold-out and set an attendance record. The Spokane Arena has also promoted several successful USA Volleyball National Team events in the arena, including the 2000 U.S. Men’s National Volleyball Team versus Poland in the 2000 FIVB World League and Serbia & Montenegro in the 2006 FIVB World League.

Other Boyce Banquet awards presentations, Doug Partie and Jeff Stork received the USA Volleyball Thomas Haine All-Time Great Player Player Award. Partie assembled a career with an Olympic gold and bronze medal to his credit. Stork, a three-time Olympian, earned Olympic gold in 1988 and bronze in 1992. Last fall he was inducted into the Volleyball Hall of Fame.

Hugh McCutcheon and Chuck Erbe were recognized with the USA Volleyball All-Time Great Coach Award. Erbe was involved with the National Team in one form or another over the course of four decades and won 550 matches in a 24-year college coaching career. McCutcheon is the only U.S. coach to lead teams to two Olympic Games medals in his career – one for each gender.

The George J. Fisher Leader in Volleyball Award were presented to Aldis Berzins, Dixie Collins and Scott Fortune. Berzins enjoyed a spectacular career with the U.S. Men’s National Volleyball Team before giving back to many organizations such as Special Olympics International. Collins has been involved in the Chesapeake Regional Volleyball Association for more than 35 years while securing praise as a referee, international scorer and assistant coach for the U.S. Men’s Sitting Volleyball Team. Fortune, a three-time Olympian, has provided USA Volleyball with financial expertise that has helped the organization grow in many areas.

Neill Luebke and Bill Stevens were recognized with the Wilbur H. Peck Referee Emeritus Award. Luebke officiated at the 1992 and 1996 Olympic Games as part of his career highlights. Stevens, who passed away this spring, was past referees chairman for the Keystone Regional Volleyball Association and officiated 11 USA Volleyball Open National Championships title matches. Janet Blue was presented the Nancy S. Sharpless Scorekeeper Emeritus award. She was chair of the USA international scorekeepers commission for 12 years and worked many international events during her career.

Dr. E. Lee Rice and Linda Murphy was presented the James E. Coleman National Team Award. Murphy has been a pioneer on the court with inclusion on the first-ever U.S. Olympic Women’s Volleyball Team and continued her work with the National Teams by serving as chair of the All-Time Great Player Award and setting up reunions with other pioneer teammates. Dr. Rice played an instrumental role in setting up a training environment for the National Teams in San Diego during the 1980s and 1990s that helped the programs win Olympic medals.

The Boyce Banquet presented its Pioneer Region Salute recognizing individuals who have made a positive difference in the sport from the Annual Meeting host region. Individual Salute honorees included Bob Blanford, Mitzy Donhoff, Sarah Drury Petkovic, Nancy Funk, Don Goodwin, Dale Grupe, Anne Kordes, Ron Kordes, Jack McElveen and John Patterson.

Upon the conclusion of the USA Volleyball Annual Meetings, Louisville will continue to be in the news with the 84th USA Volleyball Open National Championships in town from May 24 to May 29. A total of 492 adult teams will compete at the Kentucky Fair & Exposition Center. Except for 1943 and 1944 during the height of World War II, the USA Volleyball Open National Championships has been a mainstay celebrating adult volleyball nationally. The event is one of the largest national championships in any sport in the United States, and the Open has featured the sport of volleyball from coast-to-coast.

The event, which is free to the public, includes skill, co-ed and age classifications up to 76-years-old. Further, Special Olympics and a sitting volleyball category will be held during the event. For information on the entire event, click here.

The Premier Volleyball League (PVL), which is the highest division for women, has 15 teams signed up to compete for a total purse of $20,000. The PVL, which will play its championship May 25-28, is a professional volleyball league made up of teams from among the 40 Regional Volleyball Associations across the United States. The PVL is an adult High Performance initiative based on the USA Volleyball Region system, but operates under a professional sports model. The PVL is sanctioned by USA Volleyball and offers tournament play, PVL Conference Championships and a national championship event each year. Hoosier Exterminators, the defending champion from the last year's inaugural event, is the top seed in the PVL. Other top seeds are No. 2 TNT of North Texas, No. 3 Team Florida Wave, No. 4 Pioneer Mayhem and No. 5 Arizona Sizzle.

2013 USA Volleyball Awards Presented at Boyce Banquet
Harold T. Friermood “Frier” Award: Kevin Twohig
George J. Fisher Leader in Volleyball Award: Aldis Berzins, Dixie Collins, Scott Fortune
Wilbur H. Peck Referee Emeritus Award: Neill Luebke, Bill Stevens
Nancy S. Sharpless Scorekeeper Emeritus Award: Janet Blue
All-Time Great Coach Award: Chuck Erbe (Pioneer Division), Hugh McCutcheon (Contemporary Division)
Tom Haine All-Time Great Player Award: Doug Partie, Jeff Stork
James E. Coleman USA National Team Award: Linda Murphy, Dr. E. Lee Rice

2013 USA Volleyball Awards Presented at Other Locations
Dr. Neville A. "Doc" Booth Commissioner's Award: Kenneth R. Cain, Jr.
Best Regional Volleyball Association Web Site: Ohio Valley Region
Jonathan Reeser Sports Science Award: Dr. E. Lee Rice
Outstanding Junior Program Director: Jenna Ann Hinton
Outstanding Junior Male Coach: Warren Ando
Outstanding Junior Female Coach: Shannon Loso
Outstanding Junior Clinician: Mike Deterding
Outstanding Junior Parent Service Award: Danis L. Fuelling
Outstanding Junior Referee: Michael McNeil
Joe Sharpless Arbitrator Award: Bill Jones
Gold Whistle: Clark Radcliffe
Silver Whistle: Ed Richardson
Gold Pen: Jenita Vogt
Silver Pen: Christina Fiebich
Glen G. Davies Referee Service Award: John T. Patterson