Winston-Salem, NC (July 27, 2013) – Clemmons resident, Frederick (Fred) N. Wendelboe, was inducted into the North Carolina Volleyball Hall of Fame on Saturday night at the Spring House Restaurant in Winston-Salem.
The surprise ceremony gathered friends, family, and colleagues from across the country to honor an individual that has been promoting the sport of volleyball throughout North Carolina since 1978.
The North Carolina Volleyball Hall of Fame was created by the Carolina Regional Volleyball Association, a NC non-profit organization that has been promoting the sport across the state since 1981, to fill a void in the recognition of people and organizations that have helped grow the sport in North Carolina to new heights. Michael Spillman, President of the Carolina Region, said “We were aware that there was not currently a Volleyball Hall of Fame in the state and there are no individuals in the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame associated with volleyball, so the Board of Directors felt this would be a great opportunity for our organization to bring past due recognition to those deserving individuals and groups affiliated with our sport. After the creation of the Hall of Fame, naming the first inductee was easy.”
The evening began with a special announcement from the Carolina Region about a new headquarters and competition facility that staff has been working on for over two years with a major donor. Staff presented for the first time publicly architect drawings of a new 15-court volleyball/basketball facility that the Carolina Region hopes to start construction on this fall. The site plan also includes 16 sand volleyball courts, a food court, weight training area, retail space, and office space for the Carolina Region. Staff has identified two potential sites in Davie County and one potential site in Winston-Salem. The presentation concluded with the showing of where the NC Volleyball Hall of Fame would be in the facility, which allowed Mr. Spillman to step to the podium to begin the induction ceremony to the surprised inductee.
Fred Wendelboe has spent the better part of his life promoting the sport of volleyball. He was introduced to the sport while serving his country in Vietnam. When he returned to the states, he continued to play and formed the Triad Volleyball Club in Winston-Salem. North Carolina was part of the Southern Region at that time which was comprised of Georgia, Tennessee, North and South Carolina. He served as state representative on the Southern Region Board from 1979-1981. In 1981, Fred successfully lobbied USA Volleyball in the formation of a new Region called the Carolina Region which would include both North and South Carolina (South Carolina split into its own region in 1987). Fred became the first Commissioner of the Carolina Region, a position he held until 1997. Also in 1981, Fred became the Women’s Volleyball Head Coach at Wake Forest University. He held that position until 1986 when the university decided to drop the sport (it was reinstated in 1996). When the Carolina Region Board restructured in 2008, Fred was elected as President and served until 2012. He currently serves on the Carolina Region Board as Past-President.
Fred formed one of the first Junior teams in the state under Triad, when the number of adult players outnumbered juniors 3 to 1. Through his leadership, the Carolina Region membership is now over 8000 members and juniors outnumber adults 5 to 1.
Fred was also an accomplished referee. He received his National rating in 1983 and received the Silver Whistle award from USA Volleyball as the best referee in his class.
Not content to limit his support of volleyball to just North Carolina, Fred is also heavily involved with USA Volleyball at the national level. He was elected to the USA Volleyball Board of Directors in 1992 and served on the board in various positions, including on the Executive Committee as Secretary, through 2008. He served as Vice-President of the Regional Operations Division from 2001-2004 and was the Chairman of the USA Volleyball Foundation from 2006-2009. He has accompanied the USA National teams as Head of Delegation to numerous competitions throughout the world.
Fred has received many significant awards throughout his volleyball career. The Regional Operations Division of USA Volleyball awarded him the Dr. Neville A. “Doc” Booth Commissioner’s Award in 1992. In 1994, he earned a Robert L. Lindsay Meritorious Service Award from the Carolina Region and the George J. Fisher Leader in Volleyball Award from USA Volleyball. USA Volleyball awarded him the Wilbur H. Peck Referee Emeritus Award in 2007 and in 2011, Fred received the highest honor USA Volleyball bestows, the Dr. Harold T. Friermood “Frier” Award.
Fred received a replica of the award that will be permanently displayed in the Hall of Fame. After the award was presented, letters of congratulations from friends and dignitaries that were unable to attend were read for Fred’s benefit. Former President of USA Volleyball, Rebecca Howard, wrote “I was so pleased to hear that Fred was being inducted. At all levels of the sport he has been a loyal, responsible, and dedicated worker.” Former Wake Forest Head Coach Mary Buczek wrote, “He has given so much to volleyball – teaching kids, officials, parents, volunteering time to clubs and schools along with numerous other events. He has shared his passion for the game for years…” Fred even received a letter of congratulations for his service to international volleyball from Mr. Eric Adler, President of Top Volleyball in Denmark. Doug Beal, current CEO of USA Volleyball and past Head Coach of the 1984 Gold medal winning Men’s Volleyball Team, presented a framed photo collage of Fred from USA Volleyball to commemorate his induction into the NC Hall of Fame. Mr. Beal had a busy week of commitments attending the USA Volleyball HP Beach Championships and the FIVB Long Beach Grand Slam events in California. But he took a red eye flight from CA to North Carolina so he could attend the ceremony and show his support and appreciation for the many years of service that Fred Wendelboe has put in for USA Volleyball.
The ceremony concluded with some video congratulations from across the country and a photo slide show. The celebration continued with dinner and social time at the restaurant where old friends gathered to toast and show appreciation to Fred Wendelboe for his outstanding promotion of the sport of volleyball in North Carolina.
Additional photos from the ceremony can be viewed at the Carolina Region Facebook page.