Gene Selznick was the celebrated member of the United
States 1960 and 1966 Volleyball World Championship teams.
In 1966, he was the first American, ever, to be named to
the FIVB All-World Volleyball Team.
One of the most dominate indoor players in the history of the game, the FIBA
named Selznick one of the two top American players of the 20th century (w/Karch
Kiraly). The U.S. Volleyball Hall of Fame honored him as the Most Valuable
Player of the 75th Anniversary Men’s 1953-77 All-Era Team, and their
selection as “All-Time Great Male Player”. He was elected to the
Volleyball Hall of Fame in 1988.
The Southern California spiker led his teams to seven United States Open Championships––1951-1953,
1956 (w/Hollywood YMCA), 1960, 1965 (w/Los Angeles’ Westside Jewish Community
Center), and 1966 (w/Santa Monica Sand & Sea Club), plus seven runner-up
Selznick teams also won Pan-American Games gold medals in 1955 and 1959. In
1965, his Los Angeles Westside JCC team won both the USVBA Open and Senior
From his first-time selection in 1951, Selznick was named to the U.S. All-America
first team 10 times. And, he was captain of the U.S. National Team for 17 consecutive
years, 1953 to 1967.
One of the early proponents of California Beach Volleyball, dating back to
1949, Selznick’s contributions to the development of the now popular
Olympic sport were recognized by his designation as the “First King of
Beach Volleyball”. He teamed with Everette “Ev” Keller to
win his first major beach victory at the 1950 State (CA) Beach Men’s
Open. He later enjoyed dominating sand success with playing partners Don McMahon,
Bernie Holtzman and Ron Lang. At the 1956 international competition involving
24 teams, the event’s all-star team MVP honor–"Mr. All-World"–was
awarded to Gene Selznick.
Coach Selznick led his gold medal winning 1963 U.S. Women’s Pan American
Games team to the 1964 Olympic Games; and his women’s teams to USVBA
titles six times––1959-1961, 1963-65. His Nick’s Fish Market
(L.A.) Women’s Team won National championships in 1978 and 1979.
At the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games, Selznick coached Sinjin Smith and Carl Henkel
to a near upset of eventual gold-medal winners Karch Kiraly and Kent Steffes.
In 2000, his coaching helped Misty May and Holly McPeak qualify for the Olympic
Games in Sydney, Australia.