Sato, Hollenbeck Named USC Men's Volleyball Assistant Coaches

    Gary Sato (left), Todd Hollenbeck
    July 6, 2015

    Gary Sato, an assistant coach on 3 U.S. Olympic teams, and 2015 AVCA Division III Coach of the Year Todd Hollenbeck of UC Santa Cruz have been named assistant coaches for the USC men’s volleyball team, new Trojan head coach Jeff Nygaard announced today (July 6).

    “I am thrilled to welcome Gary and Todd to the staff and I’m excited to work with them,” said Nygaard. “We share a like-minded vision of the future of our program. They are great additions to the Trojan volleyball heritage.”

    Sato, 60, was an assistant with the U.S. Men’s National team from 1984 to 1988, in 1992 and from 2009 to 2012, including squads that won a gold medal at the 1988 Olympics, a bronze at the 1992 Games and placed fifth in 2012. He also assisted with U.S. men’s teams that won the 1986 FIVB World Championship and the 1987 Pan American Games and captured a silver medal at the 2012 FIVB World League. He was the head coach for the U.S. men’s squad that won gold at the 1985 FIVB World Cup, where he was named the tourney’s Most Valuable Coach.

    He spent 2013 as the head coach of the Japan men’s national team.

    Sato also was the head coach for the U.S. Beach National men’s (silver medal) and women’s teams at the 2007 Pan Am Games, as well as for Team Paul Mitchell in the Bud Light Pro Beach Volleyball League.

    He was the head coach of the U.S. Boys’ Youth National team that won silver at the 2010 NORCECA Boys’ Youth Continental Championship.

    He was the head coach of Pepperdine’s women's team for 4 years (1979-82), leading the Waves into the post-season 3 times (his 1979 squad finished ninth in the national rankings). He also was an assistant coach with the Pepperdine men’s teams that won NCAA championships in 1978 and 2005.

    Additionally, he was the head coach for the Santa Monica Beach Volleyball Club, the technical director for the Sinjin Smith Volleyball Academy and a clinician at the Los Angeles Volleyball Academy. He is the founder of the Gary Sato Volleyball Clinics/Grow the Game and president of the Association of Beach Volleyball Coaches.



    Sato played volleyball at Santa Monica (Calif.) High and Santa Monica College before moving on to UC Santa Barbara, where he was an All-American outside hitter. He was inducted into the International Volleyball Hall of Fame, Santa Monica High School Hall of Fame, Pepperdine Athletic Hall of Fame, California Community Colleges Sports Hall of Fame and Santa Monica College Sports Hall of Fame.

    Sato graduated with a bachelor’s degree in kinesiology in 1978 from Pepperdine and as a Doctor of Chiropractic from the Southern California University of Health Sciences in 1992. He has his own practice, Sato Chiropractic.

    Sato is a member of the “First Family of Volleyball.” Brother Eric won an Olympic gold medal with the U.S. men in 1988 and a bronze in 1992 (Gary was an assistant with those teams). Sister Liane won an Olympic bronze medal with the U.S. women in 1992 and also played on the 1988 Olympic team. Brothers Scott (San Diego State) and Glenn (Loyola Marymount) both played college volleyball and Glenn also was an assistant coach at USC from 1990 to 1996 (the Trojans won the 1990 NCAA title). Their mother, Elissa, was a longtime fixture at local volleyball matches as a scorekeeper, usually accompanied by their late father, Richard.

    Sato was born on Jan. 2, 1955. He has 3 children: Andrew (21), a junior libero at Long Beach State, Katie (19), a sophomore libero at Cal State Northridge, and Malia (16).

    Hollenbeck, 30, spent 5 seasons (2011-15) as UC Santa Cruz’s head men’s coach, guiding his team to a national Top 10 final ranking each season. His 2015 team went 24-6 and advanced to the NCAA quarterfinals as he produced 3 AVCA All-Americans en route to being named the Division III Coach of the Year. In 2013, the Banana Slugs placed fifth in the NCAA Division III tourney. His 2012 team won the league title and finished third at the NCAA Division III championship as he was named the Continental Volleyball Conference Coach of the Year.

    He was a Banana Slugs men’s assistant in 2009 and 2010.

    He also was UC Santa Cruz’s women’s head coach for 3 seasons (2010-12), going 53-35, and taught physical education courses there.

    In 2014 and 2015, he also was the head indoor boys and sand coach with the Mountain View Volleyball Club and an assistant coach with the Cabrillo College women’s sand volleyball team. In 2013 and 2014, he was the head boys coach with the Main Beach Volleyball Club and the lead coach and co-director of the West Coast Volleyball Academy. He also served as a coach at various high school, club, college and USA Volleyball camps and clinics.

    In addition to coaching, he has pursued a career in marketing.

    He was an outside hitter and middle blocker at Pacific, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in marketing in 2007. He prepped at Peninsula High in Rancho Palos Verdes (Calif.).

    He played on the AVP and CBVA beach circuit, as well as indoors professionally in Germany.

    He was born on Feb. 5, 1985.