Joined OCC: November 4, 1963
Elected to Winged “O”: October 4, 2008
Think of volleyball at the Outrigger Canoe Club and one of the names that immediately comes to mind is Tony Crabb who has played on and coached our volleyball teams for half a century.
Tony was born in October 21, 1944 in Honolulu, and joined the OCC in 1963. He was a member of the Outrigger volleyball team that was invited to the New York World’s Fair to tryout for the U.S. National team and the U.S. Olympic team in 1964. No one from OCC made the team but it was the first national exposure for the Club’s volleyball program.
Three years later Outrigger won its first national championship at the AAU Nationals against 22 other teams. A week later, the team finished fifth at the USVBA Nationals. In 1968 two of Tony’s OCC teammates and fellow Winged “O”s Tom Haine and Jon Stanley were selected for the U.S. Olympic team, and Tony was selected as an alternate.
While they were at the Olympic Games in Mexico City, Tony led Church College to second place in the Collegiate Division of the National Championships. In 1969 OCC’s Open team finished second at the AAU National Championships and in fifth place at the USVBA Nationals. In 1970, OCC won the State Championship and placed seventh at the USVBA Nationals. With teammate Dodge Parker, Tony was selected as a member of the U.S. team to play at the World Volleyball Games in Sofia, Bulgaria in 1970. In 1971 he was selected as an alternate on the U.S. team for the 1971 Pan American Games.
Tony began his coaching career in 1971, coaching the Outrigger Men’s B Team, while continuing to play for the Open team. In 1973 he was a member of the OCC Open team that traveled to Tahiti for the South Pacific Sports Festival. He earned his first All-American honors in 1974 when the Club took second place at the AAU National Championships in Dallas, Texas. The following year, Outrigger won the AAU National Tournament.
Tony played professional volleyball in the IVA league. He was on the Southern Cal Bangers with NBA All-Star Wilt Chamberlain.
In 1976, Tony coached the Pacific Rim Volleyball team which consisted of the best junior players from all the islands. The team consisted predominately of OCC Junior members. Tony took his first OCC Junior Team to the USVBA Junior Nationals in 1977. The team included Kahea Chock, Peter Ehrman, Marc Haine, John Hedlulnd, Peter Balding Jr., Kaipo Young, Alan Lau and Kilo Baird. They finished third in the nation.
After a short break, Tony returned to play masters volleyball for the Club in the 35, 40, 45 and 50 divisions.
With a stipend from Outrigger, Tony moved to San Diego, California in 1982 to become assistant coach of the United States National and Olympic Teams. This exceptional team won the U.S.’s first Gold Medal in volleyball at the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles. Tony had redesigned the team’s blocking system and was responsible for the strategical planning for all matches. It was his responsibility to review every tape of every game and document in a statistical format every single point played in every single match. Tony was so successful in developing his “eye” for making instant assessments of what was going on in a game and what immediate court-side decisions had to be made that he continued to make frequent trips back to San Diego to train various coaches so that they could also learn how to assess playing situations, make immediate decisions and learn how to implement those decisions.
In 1985 Tony was asked to accept the Head Coaching position for the next quadrennial for the USA Men’s National Volleyball Team, but declined and returned to Hawaii with his family and coached the University of Hawaii’s Men’s team until 1991.
Since 1988, Tony has been the mainstay of the OCC Junior Volleyball program winning national championships at the AAU Junior National Tournament with the Boys 12 and Under in 1990 and 1991, and second place with the Boys 14s in 1992.
Tony has been a leader in recruiting and coaching young members to play volleyball for the Club.
Tony also played sand volleyball winning the four-man mixed tournament in 1966 and was second in the Men’s AA State Beach Tournament in 1974.
While volleyball was his first love, Tony also paddled for Outrigger crews, winning his first Gold Medal at the Macfarlane Regatta on the 4th of July in 1966 with the Novice Men’s crew. He moved up the ranks to Freshmen winning the Oahu Championship in 1967, and the State Championship with the Freshman crew in 1970. In 1976 he paddled for the Super Sophomore crew that went undefeated for the season, winning both Oahu and State Championships. In 1977 Tony was awarded the Outstanding Achievement Award for paddling.
Tony has made tremendous contributions to the Club’s volleyball program for 50 years and continues to give back through his coaching of Junior teams.