Beach Volleyball
    Olympic Gold Medalist Dain Blanton Joins USC Sand Volleyball Staff

    Dain Blanton joins the USC sand volleyball staff as its volunteer assistant coach.

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    Jan. 30, 2015

    LOS ANGELES - Dain Blanton, a two-time Olympian who won a gold medal in beach volleyball at the 2000 Sydney Games, has been named the volunteer assistant coach for the USC sand volleyball program, head coach Anna Collier announced today (Jan. 30).

    "We are so excited to have someone as qualified as Dain Blanton join our staff," said Collier. "We have to thank Misty May-Treanor for all the hard work that she put into helping improve our program last year. With her staying home with her baby, words can't describe just how fortunate we are to have another gold medalist come aboard. Dain has been extremely successful as a player and was a force to be reckoned with on the court. He was a wonderful all-around player, and a very talented defender. We look forward to everything he has to share and teach our team about his experience."

    Blanton was the first two-time U.S. male beach volleyball Olympian. After he and partner Eric Fonoimoana captured gold in 2000, he joined with current USC men's volleyball assistant coach Jeff Nygaard and competed in the 2004 Olympics in Athens.

    "I've known Anna Collier for 20 years," said Blanton. "When she called me looking for a volunteer assistant coach, it turned out the team's practice times worked for me, and everything fell into line. The opportunity to coach at a program as reputable as USC is something that I've wanted to do, so I jumped all over it."

    Blanton is among just a handful of volleyball players to win a championship in college, the Olympics and professionally. He was an All-American at Pepperdine and helped the Waves win the 1992 NCAA championship as a sophomore. As a pro, Blanton won 11 beach tournaments, including nine AVP crowns (four with Nygaard) two FIVB titles, and collected more than $725,000 in winnings. In 2003, he and Nygaard were named the AVP Team of the Year and Blanton was the AVP's Best Offensive Player. He became the first male African-American to win a major beach volleyball event when he claimed the 1997 AVP Hermosa Grand Slam. He and Kent Steffes won a bronze medal at the 1997 Beach Volleyball World Championships.

    Blanton was the 1990 Orange County Boys Volleyball Player of the Year at Laguna Beach (Calif.) High, where he was also an All-State basketball player.

    He currently is a television sports broadcaster, covering sports such as NBA basketball and Major League Baseball, college basketball and football and, of course, beach volleyball for networks including ESPN, NBC, ABC, FOX Sports Net, Universal Sports Network, and Pac-12 Networks. Blanton spends time mentoring students and as a motivational speaker with his non-profit GettingToGold. He also founded a Charity in 1997 called "Dain's Day at the Beach," which provides urban youth with the opportunity to participate in beach volleyball.

    Blanton holds a teaching credential in physical education and graduated with a bachelor of science in public relations from Pepperdine in 1994. He was born on Nov. 28, 1971, and currently resides in Santa Monica, Calif.

    The USC women's sand volleyball team, which began play in 2012, has finished third nationally in 2013 and 2014. The past 2 national champion pairs teams came from USC, Kirby Burnham and Stevi Robinson in 2013 and Burnham and Sara Hughes in 2014.

    For more information on the USC sand volleyball team and a complete schedule, please visit and follow @USCSandVBall on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.