2 minute read

Karch Kiraly

Selected Writings By Kiraly:

(With Jon Hastings) Karch Kiraly's Championship Volleyball, Fireside, 1996.

(With Byron Shewman) Beach Volleyball, Human Kinetics, 1999.

Related Biography: Volleyball Player Kent Steffes

Kiraly's partner for more than half of his career wins was Kent Steffes, who paired with Kiraly in 1996 to win gold in the inaugural beach volleyball competition of the Olympic Games. Like Kiraly, Steffes is a graduate of UCLA, having transferred there after spending his freshman year at Stanford. He received his bachelor's degree in economics from UCLA in 1993.

Steffes was born in Pacific Palisades, California, on June 23, 1968. He played volleyball at Palisades High School and in 1986 was named the National High School Player of the Year. While enrolled at Stanford for his freshman year, Steffes was rated the top amateur player in the United States. After one year at Stanford, he transferred to UCLA on a scholarship but opted out of the scholarship after being red-shirted. He joined the Association of Volleyball Professionals (AVP) tour full time in 1988 and was named the Association's Up and Coming Player of the Year. The following year, he was named the AVP's Rookie of the Year. At the age of 24, he was ranked the number one player in the AVP, the youngest player ever to win this honor. Between volleyball tournaments, Steffes continued to pursue his studies at UCLA, finally graduating in 1993.

Steffes is the only AVP player to win with three different partners in the same year, and in 1991 he won two Jose Cuervo Gold Crown Series events with different partners, another first in the AVP. In 1995 Steffes appeared with Kiraly in an episode of the popular TV series Baywatch.

Awards and Accomplishments

1978 Named California High School MVP
1979 Named MVP after winning Pacific Rim Tournament
1981-82 Leads UCLA to NCAA Championship
1982 Named MVP at U.S. Volleyball Association Tournament
1984 Leads U.S. National Team to gold medal victory at Olympics
1985 Leads U.S. National Team to World Cup victory as team captain
1986 Leads U.S. National Team to World Championship
1988 Captains U.S. National Team to gold medal victory at Olympics
1991 Scores win in six beach volleyball tournaments
1992 Wins 16 of 19 beach volleyball tournaments
1993 Teams with Kent Steffes to win 18 of 20 beach tourneys
1994 Teams with Steffes to win 17 of 22 beach tournaments
1995 Compiles 12 tournaments wins with two different partners
1996 Teams with Steffes to win inaugural beach volleyball competition at Olympics
1997 Named AVP Comeback Player of the Year
2002 Passes $3 million mark in career winnings

(With Byron Shewman) The Sand Man: An Autobiography, Renaissance Books, 1999.

Additional topics

Famous Sports StarsVolleyballKarch Kiraly Biography - Born In Jackson, Michigan, Leads Us Team To 5 Gold Medals, Wins 17 Of 22 Tourneys In 1994 - CONTACT INFORMATION