Click to preview From the Bronx to the Beach photo book

Rudy Suwara is a unique figure in volleyball history. He learned the sport in New York, not along the California coast. And he found success on every level. Rudy played on the USA men’s team that beat the Russians at the Mexico City Summer Olympic Games and he coached a powerhouse college program at U.C. Santa Barbara. But these are just two among many accomplishments. His long list of friends includes some of the most famous names in volleyball and entertainment. He’s worked for Berry Gordy Jr., teamed with Wilt Chamberlain, smoked cigars with Tom Selleck and met with Fidel Castro – not once but twice. This collection of remembrances and photographs celebrates a great career, a fascinating family and an impressive individual.


About the Author

Don Weiner
donsw29 Reno, Nevada, USA
Don Weiner is a former sportswriter, newspaper copy editor and magazine editor who now handles freelance writing, editing and research assignments for a variety of clients. He writes about sports, entertainment, travel and business among other topics.

Publish Date  April 01, 2011

Dimensions  Standard Landscape  80 pgs Standard Paper

Category  Sports & Adventure

Tags  , , , , ,

Comments (3)


100Voices says

First of all, great congratulations AND gratitude to you Rudy, for your fine career -- and to Colleen for hers -- and for the way you support one another -- and for your kindness to me and so very many!!!

Seeing Herman's comments, I am especially reminded of of the astonishing good fortunate in the 'accidental meetings' of a lifetime. Yours is a story of intention and 'accident.' Thanks for sharing it!

Very Best to you, Colleen, your family and communities --

Mary Clare

posted at 07:59am May 01 PST


poipu1 says

Hi Rudy,

I am looking forward to reading it. You have had such an interesting life, and been such a great mentor to so many... including me. I cherish that I was able to work with you. The time was such an amazing opportunity and inspiration to me. You are a person with such great character.

FYI, I am running a few volleyball camps here in Tahoe this summer... and interestingly enough, while working with the Tahoe City rec department, we ended up securing North Tahoe High School gym for the camps! Full circle 20 years later! Reminds me of the great times.

Wallyball with Jim Coleman, beach tournaments, USA National Team functions, SDSU glory years, fetching you beers on the golf course...

Looking forward to reading the book, as I am sure it will be as entertaining as you.

posted at 08:50am Apr 20 PST


frankelh says

04/12/11 11:43am PDT
From: Herman M. Frankel, M.D.
To: Rudy Suwara
Subject: Thanks

Dear Rudy:

Thanks for publishing “From the Bronx to the Beach: Volleyball's Tasmanian Devil Reminisces About his Life on and off the Court”! May the book enrich the lives of its readers, as you have consistently enriched the lives of the people around you.

I remember happily our first days of playing real volleyball – in fact, our first days of learning the game – as teenagers, with the help of coach Ed Gould, at Westside YMCA in New York City. More to the point, Rudy, I remember our playing together, years later, on the New York Turn Verein team. We won every tournament held on the east coast; you had become the most highly regarded player in our part of the country; and the time had come for you to leave us and move to California if you were to continue to improve your volleyball skills.

But there were three components of being a world-class athlete – and person – that you were already displaying in your daily activities on and off the court, three components that have continued to influence me in all the years since then. Your actions manifested caring about the people on your own team; caring about the people on the other team; and caring about the magic of the game when it is played at the highest level.


Do you remember Al, one of the gentlest, kindest, team players on our NY Turn Verein team? Remember how he had somehow acquired the nickname “Moose,” a nickname that pained him, a nickname about which he never complained, a nickname that our teammates used without even thinking? One day during a break in practice, when someone use the name “Moose,” you said, quietly, “Hey . . . his name is Al.” Remember that no one ever called him Moose again?

Rudy, do you remember calling a time out in a match that we were clearly going to win on our way to winning the New York State Championship tournament? Some of our guys had started clowning around, unaware of the embarrassment of the players on the other side of the net. I remember how you said, “Hey . . . if you want to be champions, you have to treat them like champions.” Remember how everything changed, and how they held their heads up when they shook our hands to congratulate us after we won?

Rudy, do you remember a moment during tournament play when a big crowd (as usual) was watching our team, and I somehow got it into my head to put up a low backset at the center of the net, with you waiting more than ten feet back on the right sideline for a high set to the corner, and you somehow knew what I was going to do although we had never practiced it or discussed it or even seen it done live, and you were way up above the net before the ball left my hands and you just buried it and there was a moment of silence and then the roar in the gym was louder and longer than anything we had ever experienced and we just turned toward each other and knew that nothing would ever be the same?

Many years ago, a story in Sports Illustrated quoted Kevin McHale saying this about his Boston Celtics teammate, Larry Bird: "Sometimes after Larry plays a game like this it makes me think ahead. . . I'll be retired in Minnesota and Larry will be retired in Indiana, and we probably won't see each other much. But a lot of nights I'll just lie there and remember games like this, and what it was like to play with him."

Thanks, Rudy, for being my friend, for doing the things that you do, and for putting into action the values that we have come to share. Let’s keep working together to make the world a better place, one interaction at a time.



posted at 11:36am Apr 12 PST


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