49er Men's Volleyball to Retire Brett Winslow's No. 15 Jersey on Saturday
March 12, 2014
LONG BEACH - Long Beach State men's volleyball great Brett Winslow will have his No. 15 jersey retired in a ceremony that will be held before the 49ers' non-conference match against Penn State on Saturday, March 15.
"When most people think of Brett Winslow, they think of an offensive machine, but when I think of him, I think of an amazing team leader, all-around great volleyball player and captain of Long Beach State's only men's national championship team in all sports," 49er head coach Alan Knipe said. "This is a great honor for Brett, his family, our program and all fans of Long Beach State volleyball."
"Brett was by far the most selfless player I played with during my four years at Long Beach," added former teammate and National Player of the Year Brent Hilliard. "Everything he did was for the purpose of unifying the team and bringing it closer together. Add the fact that he was perhaps the best middle hitter in the country and you get someone who should be thought of as one of the all-time greats."
As a senior in 1991, Winslow, along with Hilliard and Knipe, led Long Beach State to its first and only national championship in program history. The 6-foot-5 middle blocker had 22 kills in the title match against USC and was named to the All-NCAA Final Four Team. Winslow finished the season averaging 4.53 kills and a team-best 1.27 blocks per set, while hitting at a .446 clip.
Winslow was a two-time first-team All-American. He was also a four-time All-WIVA selection, earning first-team honors in 1990 and 1991. He established school records with 111 solo blocks and 529 total blocks, which still stand as all-era career records at Long Beach State. In addition, Winslow ranks third in kills (1,813) and hitting percentage (.442), fifth in block assists (418) and sixth in digs (708).
Winslow went on to play professionally overseas, while he was also a member of the U.S. Men's National Team. He played in several World Leagues, World Cups and Olympic qualification tournaments, and ultimately represented the United States at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta.
In addition to his numerous accolades and records, Winslow also left his mark at Long Beach State as a great teammate and leader.
"The big thing about Brett is that in addition to being an All-American, he was a great teammate," former Long Beach State head coach Ray Ratelle said. "From a coaching standpoint, he was outstanding all the way around. He had a great attitude and was just a great player."
"Having an opportunity to coach Brett Winslow was one of the top highlights of my 30-plus years playing and coaching volleyball," added former 49er assistant coach Mike D'Alessandro. "He is definitely at the top of the list of all-time greats at Long Beach for his playing ability (three-time all American and three-time NCAA hitting percentage leader), but the best things about Brett were his abilities as a team leader and teammate. No one who had the pleasure of playing with him or coaching him has ever had a single bad thing to say about him. He inspired and led his teammates to a couple of the greatest seasons in Long Beach State's illustrious volleyball history, and was the heart and soul of the '91 National Championship team. Having his jersey retired is an honor that he is completely deserving of and probably long overdue. I'd like to offer Brett my personal congratulations and wish him nothing but the best in the future."