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Newly Endowed Position Honors Odens

Jun 2, 2021

STANFORD, Calif. – Stanford Athletics is pleased to announce a new assistant coach endowment for the women's volleyball program - the 'Kimberly and Beverly Oden Assistant Volleyball Coach'.

The inaugural Kimberly and Beverly Oden Assistant Volleyball Coachship will be held by new assistant coach, Courtney Thompson.

The position is named in honor of Kim Oden, '86, the first All-American in program history who played on The Farm from 1982-85, and her younger sister Bev Oden, '93, who was a member of the Cardinal's first NCAA championship team in 1992. The Odens have left an indelible impact on the Stanford women's volleyball program.

"It is humbling that donors are willing to support our program with this endowment. The act of giving, especially during a global pandemic, is incredibly generous," said head coach Kevin Hambly.

During her tenure as a player, Kim paved the way for future generations of Cardinal volleyball players. She led Stanford to four consecutive Final Four appearances from 1982-85, including back-to-back NCAA finals in 1984 and 1985. Kim was the first AVCA National Player of the Year in program history (1985), a three-time conference player of the year and a CoSIDA Academic All-American in 1984. The AVCA Player of the Decade for the 1980s, she won the Honda Award for Volleyball in 1985-86. She is also the first Olympian in program history, playing in Seoul in 1988 and earning a bronze medal in Barcelona in 1992.
Bev followed in her sister's footsteps to the Farm and continued the success of the Oden name. Bev is the first four-time First Team AVCA All-American in school history. The 1990 AVCA National Player of the Year and Pac-10 Conference Player of the Year as a sophomore, she set a school single-match record that season, which still stands today, with 41 kills at UCLA (10/19/90). She was named the winner of the Honda Award for Volleyball in 1990-91 and led the Cardinal to the 1991 Pac-10 Conference championship. She represented the United States in the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta.

"We are extremely honored that the Stanford women's volleyball assistant coach position will bear our names," wrote Kim and Bev Oden in an email message. "We cherish our experiences at Stanford both academically and athletically. As former student-athletes in the volleyball program, we know how important this position is to the women on the team. Not only does the assistant coach instruct and fine tune the players' volleyball skills, but the person in this role also encourages and supports the young women in innumerable ways both on and off the court."

Kim served as an assistant on the Cardinal staff in 1993, and then again in 2000 and 2001, helping guide Stanford to the program's fifth national championship (2001).

The endowment has been created by a gift from Angela, '93, and David Filo, MA '90.
"We are extremely grateful to Angela and David for their generosity," said Bernard Muir, the Jaquish & Kenniger Director of Athletics. "They are staunch supporters of Stanford Athletics, and we are thrilled that they chose to honor outstanding alumnae like the Odens with this gift."

The Filos are dedicated philanthropists and longtime supporters of Stanford. Their generosity has positively impacted multiple corners of the university, including the Graduate School of Education, the Haas Center for Public Service, the School of Engineering, the Stanford Interdisciplinary Graduate Fellowship program, and undergraduate financial aid. Angela Filo joined the university's Board of Trustees in 2015; she also serves as a member of the Undergraduate Cabinet and as well as on several other advisory committees. David Filo has been actively involved with Stanford Athletics, helping to strengthen its college football recruiting services and projects. Together, the Filos are ardent volleyball fans.
"When David and Angela shared their intent to honor former student-athlete(s) in the naming of the coachship, the Odens immediately came to mind as the best choice," Hambly said. "So many incredible alumni have played at Stanford - no program has a richer history. Kim and Bev not only were great players and set the standard for what the Stanford volleyball program is today, but they are both tremendous people who have continued to represent Stanford and the sport of volleyball throughout their lives."
When deciding who the inaugural holder of the newly named assistant coach position would be, the answer was easy.
"Courtney is someone who, both as a coach and player, has had a similar impact on the sport of volleyball and seemed worthy of carrying the Oden name," explained Hambly. 
Thompson was added to the Stanford staff in April 2021. A champion on multiple levels, she is a two-time Olympic medalist with USA Volleyball and served as a co-captain from 2013-16. She helped the United States take home a silver medal at the London Games in 2012 and won a bronze medal in Rio in 2016. She played at Washington from 2003-06 and guided the Huskies to the 2005 NCAA championship.
"We are thrilled that Courtney Thompson, a fearless competitor and an accomplished player, will be the inaugural holder of this new title," explained Kim and Bev. "As in decades past, we hope that the person serving in this role will strive to maintain the excellence and proud tradition of the Stanford women's volleyball program in the decades to come."