Ken Stanley Court
Ken "Big Daddy" Stanley is best known for nurturing the Pierce College Men's Volleyball program from its infancy into one of the most powerful in the state, earning the fond moniker "Big Daddy" from his players along the way.
He began his love of athletics as a Tiger at San Fernando High, playing basketball. The 6'5" standout went on to graduate from USC in 1961, where he had been a three-year varsity letterman in basketball. He taught in the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) until 1964, when he came to Pierce College, where for over 33 years he would make his mark as an incomparable coach -- first in basketball, then in volleyball.
His first Pierce assignment was as basketball assistant to Hall of Famer Denny Crum. He became Basketball Head Coach when Crum moved to UCLA.
It was in 1976 that Stanley transitioned to coaching Men's Volleyball and launched the successful program for which he would become known. He led the Pierce College Men's Volleyball team to multiple conference titles and three state championships -- 1986, 1988 and 1992.
Along the way he helped produce a nest full of top-flight coaches. He has coached three Olympian athletes: Bob Samuelson (1992 games), Kevin Barnett (2000, 2004) and Riley Salmon (2008). Stanley says that he has been lucky that so many fine athletes heard about him, that they knocked on his door, and that they stayed. His colleagues said that he would have people believe that all of the powerful Men's Volleyball teams at Pierce College have come together by grace. He was too modest to mention that he sculpted them into champions, one precise chip after another.
"Big Daddy was like a great tree whose branches have produced numerous coaches at different levels," said Bob Lofrano, current Pierce athletic director, and coach since 1989.
"His influence on the game of volleyball continues to this day as coaches nationwide who have been influenced by him continue to model their careers after Big Daddy. He taught them the values of the game both on and off the court."
Coaches that Stanley shaped and mentored led the Pierce College Men's Volleyball team to winning California state titles in 2000, 2001, 2002 and 2003.
Ken Stanley retired from the Head Coach job in 1997, and from teaching physical education in 2004. He remained a valuable resource for the next generation of Pierce volleyball coaches. He was inducted into the California Community College Men's Volleyball Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2009, along with Marv Dunphy and 2008 Olympian Riley Salmon of Pierce. Stanley was inducted into the Pierce College Athletic Hall of Fame in a ceremony in 2010.
Stanley's name is now painted on the floor of the South Gym.
In recognition of his extraordinary dedication and tireless leadership in the Athletics program, and his excellence in coaching and teaching, on June 15, 2011 the Board of Trustees of the Los Angeles Community College District resolved that the Pierce College South Gym floor be officially named Ken Stanley Court.
The college celebrated with a dedication ceremony at the court, attended by Stanley, on 5/15/2011.