Chat Wrap: John Dunning

Oct. 3, 2001

Moderator: (2:58 PM ET ) We would like to invire John Dunning to this chat room. He will begin answering questions shortly!

Laurie (Los Angeles): You're 3-0 in the Pac-10. What are your first impressions of the conference?

John Dunning: (3:03 PM ET ) I have always felt the Pac 10 was a great conference! From top to bottom every year each match is a challenge. All of the schools have good home courts, good players and excellent coaches. This is definitely a conference which will prepare us for the post season.

Dana (Chicago): How is Ogonna doing?

John Dunning: (3:06 PM ET ) Ogonna is great. She is a wonderful person to be around each day, she is dedicated to the team(very unselfish), very interested in what she is studying and as everyone knows she is a gifted athlete. I am lucky to have a chance to coach her.

Abbie (San Jose): Are you looking forward to the Stanford vs. Pacfic match later during the season?

John Dunning: (3:09 PM ET ) Yes, they are a very good team! They will challenge us and push us to play our best. They are one of the best passing and defensive teams in the country. It will be interesting for me and for the UOP people, but we will be focused and ready to play our best.

Kelli (Orinda): Do you think your team is good enough to make it to the Final Four this year?

John Dunning: (3:12 PM ET ) Yes, but so are many other teams at this point of the season. The key will be to not believe we are good enough now and work very hard to improve each day. The teams who get to the final four each year are the teams who are still improving at that point.

Kate (Sacramento): Do you like being a coach?

John Dunning: (3:13 PM ET ) I love coaching. It is very exciting, very rewarding and fun. I like going to the gym every day. What an honor to work with such dedicated people each day.

Whitney (Charlotte): Do you think Logan could be player of the year in the Pac-10 and in the country

John Dunning: (3:16 PM ET ) Logan is one of the best players in the world as well as the country. Her challenge is the same as everyone elses. To be the best you have to work hard, improve and help your team everyday. She does things every time we go into the gym, and that amazes me.

Dan (Stanford): There has been a lot of changes in the middle this year with Detmer gone - do you expect McGee to step up to the position full time now or will she, Conrad and Harvey share time?

John Dunning: (3:19 PM ET ) They are all good and they all know that they will get opportunities to get on the court to help their team if they continue to improve. Our lineup has changed almost daily and may continue to do so if they all compete and improve.

Sam (Honolulu): How is your freshmen class adjusting to college volleyball?

John Dunning: (3:22 PM ET ) We are very lucky. Leahi, Jen and Ogonna have had an impact on our team from the first day. They are team players and hard workers. Jen Hucke has really come on in the past two weeks. She is now improving quickly and is ready to really help us continue to improve.

Mitch (Anaheim): What is the most important thing you can teach a young volleyball player?

John Dunning: (3:26 PM ET ) Always work to improve and enjoy the game. This is a great game for life. It can be something you love to do everytime you go to play. The other thing would be to work to stay healthy. Listen to teachers or coaches when they tell you to toss your service toss in front of you instead of behind your head so that you don't arch your back thousands of times and end up with a back problem. That is of course an example, but each person is in charge of their health.

Katie (Palo Alto): Are you looking forward to playing your first home game after so many on the road? What do you think of Maples?

John Dunning: (3:32 PM ET ) Yes, we are all excited to be home, finally!! I have always like Maples, I like it more now!!!!!

Dan (San Francisco): How do you deal with the pressure-cooker of coaching a program that expects to win the national championship every year?

John Dunning: (3:32 PM ET ) You have to like it, and I do!

John (San Carlos): Where is the toughest place you've played at during your career as a coach?

John Dunning: (3:33 PM ET ) Klum Gym in Hawaii and of course Stanford!!!!!!!

Kari (Palo Alto): Rally scoring seems to favor good passing teams. What do you think?

John Dunning: (3:35 PM ET ) Without a doubt!!! That means serving is now more important than ever!!!! We have to serve tougher and miss less, that means better technique and more practice on both skills!!! Back to the basics!

Mike (San Luis Obispo): Now that you've coached in both, which is tougher: the Pac-10 or the Big West?

John Dunning: (3:36 PM ET ) The Pac 10 is deeper than all the conferences.

Linda (San Clemente): How do you like Stanford?

John Dunning: (3:36 PM ET ) I love it so far!!!!!!!!!

Susie (Santa Clara): Saw you play Santa Clara last night and the passing was a bit shaky. Are you concerned that it will hurt you in the long run this season?

John Dunning: (3:38 PM ET ) You are correct!!! We are not a good enough passing team at this point, but we are improving and will get there.

Mike (New York): Do you think Logan will be back for your senior year?

John Dunning: (3:39 PM ET ) Yes, her education is very important to her!!!!!!!!

Rathy (Los Altos): How's the transition been for you?

John Dunning: (3:40 PM ET ) The people here have made things easy for me, the emotions of leaving and the timing have made some moments difficult. The hard part is over and I am very grateful to be part of this progrwam

phil: hey u guys look good

John Dunning: (3:41 PM ET ) Thanks!!!!!!

Mindy (Petaluma, Calif): What do you think of the new rally scoring system for college?

John Dunning: (3:42 PM ET ) I am not sure yet what I think as a coach, but as a fan I like it.

Matt (Walnut Creek): Is it harder to recruit at Stanford than at Pacific?

John Dunning: (3:42 PM ET ) I am new here but I hope not.

Dan (Fremont): What did you think of Long Beach State? Do you think you'll see them again at the Final Four?

John Dunning: (3:44 PM ET ) As usual they are very talented and very well coached. Best serving Long Beach team I can remember. Maybe.

Raj (LA): Saw you play Long Beach...what do you think the keys to that match were and if you were to meet them again, what would you do differently?

John Dunning: (3:46 PM ET ) They served and passed better than we did! In many ways it is a simple game, analysis almost always comes back to serve and pass.

Melissa (Lincoln, NE): What does your team need to improve on in order to beat teams like Long Beach State?

John Dunning: (3:47 PM ET ) Serving, passing and defensive pursuit!!!

Josh (Ashland): John thank you for all of your years of service to volleyball. You are a class act and I truly appreciate all that you do. Over the past few years I have been afforded the opportunity to attend some of your clinics and each time I come away with something valuable to adapt to my team.

John Dunning: (3:49 PM ET ) Thank you.

Andrew (Sunnyvale, CA): Is it difficult to play four matches in six days?

John Dunning: (3:51 PM ET ) Yes, tough to prepare for each opponent and be rested enough to be you best, but we have to pass these tests if we are to realize our potential this year. I love for my teams to face tough challenges.

Brett (Palo Alto): How do you deal with the pressure-cooker of being the coach for the nation's most illustrious program?

John Dunning: (3:52 PM ET ) I have the world's greatest wife. She is my key to dealing with the world.

Candace (Mesa, Ariz): What is it like coaching Logan Tom?

John Dunning: (3:55 PM ET ) In some ways it is the same as coaching everyone else on the team. In other ways, it is challenging and exciting. She is a very special player. I have to make sure I am working on ways to help her improve her already very developed skills.

Andrew (Los Angeles): Who do you think are the top five players in the country?

John Dunning: (3:57 PM ET ) To early for me to tell. I tend to equate great players in the country with how well their team is performing. I could make a list of the top 5 players who are the most exciting on a given day, but will wait until later to decide on the best 5.

Lonni (Burlingame): What is your advice to a 7th-grade volleyball player who would like to play for a college one day?

John Dunning: (4:01 PM ET ) Always work harder in the gym than everyone else. Also, become a student of the game. Don't just do, understand. Think about the game a lot. Watch and talk to great players and learn from them. Play because you love the game.

Steve S. (San Jose): John, Glad to see you off to a successful start. Looking forward to saying hello at the Arizona match. Good luck this weekend

John Dunning: (4:02 PM ET ) Hi, Steve. Sorry I missed you at camp. Hope all is well!! See you Sunday.

Kim (Santa Rosa): So, does orange or cardinal go better with your red hair?

John Dunning: (4:04 PM ET ) Good question. Here's hoping the hair works well with cardinal. If not I will have some fashion problems!!!!

Sharon (Los Angeles): What has been the biggest transition from Pacific to Stanford?

John Dunning: (4:08 PM ET ) After 17 years at Pacific, I understood and was part of the traditions. I had pride in those traditions and found it hard to leave them. As I learn of and become part of the traditions here it will more and more be part of me and my pride will grow. I am looking forward to the process.

Earl (Palo Alto): Will Anna Robinson will get much playing time?

John Dunning: (4:09 PM ET ) Yes, Anna is improving each day and will help us on the court as the season goes.

Debbie (Berkeley): Freshman Ogonna Nnamani has some pretty impressive numbers early this season. What do you think of her early performances?

John Dunning: (4:11 PM ET ) Ogonna has helped us on the court more than I would have thought. She has been very interested in working very hard and in trying to improve her physical and mental skills.

Mary (San Mateo): What do you look for in a recruit?

John Dunning: (4:13 PM ET ) The values I also look for when recruiting is the type of person they are. If they are also tall enough and athletic enough, that is even better.

Mario (Palo Alto): Coach, congratulations on a very good start of the season. How do you keep your team motivated and focused throughout the season and through long, tough matches?

John Dunning: (4:18 PM ET ) Thank you! The hardest part so far has been the period of our season that just ended. The 3 weeks since Sept. 11, 2001. A period we will never forget. The sadness, fear ... which has overwhelmed all of us made performing a a high level almost impossible for anyone let alone people of this age. We are just now getting back to the same level we were at before the tragedy occured. Trying to motivate an athlete through that experience is very difficult and in many moments almost seemed wrong.

John Dunning: (4:22 PM ET ) Thanks for all of your questions!! It is great to chat with other people who love such a great game. I hope you have an opportunity this week to work with me in viewing the world as a half full glass and in enjoying a game of volleyball as a player or as a fan!!
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