Dennis Nord boosted volleyball to lofty heights here, sending Manitoba players, teams and coaches to the forefront of this country and onto the international scene. What is remarkable about his handy work is this started more than a quarter of a century ago and Manitoba continues today, to be a volleyball hotbed in this country.
Most recently a principal and coach at the junior high school level, Nord served as the co-chair of the Canadian National Women’s volleyball team, which moved to Winnipeg in 1992 and served on the Board of Directors of the Manitoba Volleyball Association for many years.
Nord captained the University of Winnipeg Wesmen to its first Canadian Interuniversity Volleyball Championship in 1967-68. He was assistant coach of Team Canada in the 1976 Olympics in Montreal. The next year he was the first Canadian to be named head coach of the Canadian National Men’s volleyball team. The likable Nord conducted international clinics and developed manuscripts for coaching manuals. Nord painted a big picture for volleyball. He wanted more visibility, better media coverage and public awareness for his sport. His vision changed the format of the high school provincial volleyball championship to a 16-team format from 1978-1990.
There is little doubt that Nord had a major influence in developing volleyball from a part-time summer activity in this province to the lofty position it enjoys now. He has touched many athletes, coaches and officials, with associations naming trophies after him. The Manitoba Volleyball Association’s top male high school player is presented with the Dennis Nord Award. As the saying goes, the true test of a teacher is to teach his students to be teachers. Nord exemplifies that adage, as it is common to see many of his proteges serving as head coaches of inter-collegiate teams across the country.
b. April 8, 1945