Bob Yoder to be honored with Ernie Award

Former men’s volleyball player and head coach Bob Yoder will be honored at the second annual The Ernie Event to celebrate Yoder and the start of the Trojan’s 2015 season on Jan. 31 at the Galen Center.

Yoder was an All-American outside hitter on the 1977 team that won the school’s first ever men’s volleyball national championship. In addition to his four years as a varsity letterman between 1976 and 1979, Yoder coached the team from 1982 to 1989, leading the team to a national title in 1988. Yoder also spent some time with the U.S. national team and as the head coach at Ohio State between playing and coaching at USC.

Yoder will be inducted into the USC Athletics Hall of Fame this year as part of the class of 2015. His jersey is retired in the Galen Center.

Yoder will be presented with the Ernie Award at the event, named after former volleyball head coach Ernie Hix. Yoder played all four years under Hix.

In addition to leading the program to its first national title in 1977, Hix guided the team to a championship in 1980. Hix was the head coach of the team from 1974-1981 and is known as “The Father of USC Men’s Volleyball.”

Hix coached a total of seven All-Americans — Dusty Dvorak, Tim Hovland, Celso Kalache, Pat Powers, Bill Stetson, Steve Timmons and Yoder — during his tenure at USC. Dvorak, Kalache, Powers and Timmons all played volleyball in the Olympics. Kalache represented Brazil in 1972 and 1976 while Dvorak, Powers and Timmons won gold medals for the United States team at the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles. Timmons also won gold at the 1988 Olympics in Seoul then brought home a bronze medal from the 1992 Games in Barcelona.

USC men’s volleyball has produced a total of four national championships, 33 All-Americans and 18 Olympians.

Former players and coaches, fans and the current team will be present at the event to celebrate both Yoder and the new season. Senior Associate Athletic Director J.K. McKay will speak at the event, then current head coach Bill Ferguson will introduce the current roster and offer remarks on the team.

The reception begins at 6 p.m. in the Galen Center.

The day before on Jan. 30, the Trojans will host Cal State Northridge in the Galen Center at 7 p.m. The match will be the seventh match and fourth home match of the season for the team. [Former Trojan National Players of the Year Tom Duke — 1988 —and Bryan Ivie — 1990 and 1991 — will have their jerseys retired at the match.]

The No. 7 Trojans won their first match of the season on      Jan. 7 at Grand Canyon in five sets. USC’s home opener is Jan. 16 at 8 p.m. in the Galen Center against Pepperdine.

Sophomore outside hitter Lucas Yoder and redshirt freshman setter Jack Yoder, who are both nephews of Bob Yoder, are current members on the team. Bob’s younger brother Dave Yoder—Lucas’s father and Jack’s uncle—was a four-year letterman with the team between 1984 and 1987. Jack’s older brother Paul Yoder played on the team last year. Bob’s daughter Erin Yoder also played volleyball at USC, lettering with the women’s team between 2009 and 2011.