Class of 2012
Active: 1983 - 2008
19 Open Victories
Ack was born to play beach volleyball. He rolled out of the womb, uncle Matt Gage put a Spalding in his hand, and Ack immediately started dominating at 16th Street. It is in his blood – there was no other destiny for Ack other than to be a great beach volleyball player. And he has fulfilled that destiny with inimitable style.
Shortly after graduating from Mira Costa High School in the early 80s, Ack and Fro burst onto the beach volleyball scene forming one of the most iconic teams in the sports’ history. Over the course of their partnership, they won six tournaments and finished in the top five 80 times. They rank fourth all-time for the number of tournaments played together as a team.
They weren’t just one of the best teams on tour, they were also, unquestionably, the coolest. They embodied the lifestyle better than anyone else – playing hard on the court and, of course, playing equally hard, if not harder, off the court. Who else but Ack could make satin and velour shorts with orange dingle balls the hippest thing on the beach?
Scott also had a great partnership with Brian Lewis which included a signature win right here in Hermosa. He also won with Eric Fonoimoana, Eduardo Bacil and, of course, Karch Kiraly. Karch has said that Ack was perhaps his favorite partner. Together they had a great run in 1995, winning eight of thirteen tournaments.
Ack ended up winning nineteen times– a number that no doubt would have been much higher if back problems and other injuries hadn’t robbed him of several seasons during his prime years.
We always say that some guys hit a heavy ball. Nobody has ever been able to exactly define what that means, but one thing’s for sure – Ack hit a really heavy ball. If you didn’t block Ack, you basically had zero chance of digging one of his bombs. But hitting hard was only part of his game. He also possessed an array of deceptive shots. And what about those hands? So soft with such a great touch. He was also a very underrated defensive player.
More than almost any player of his generation, Ack stands out for his pure love of beach volleyball. Yes, he was a professional and made close to a million dollars in prize money, but Ack would have played equally as hard and with just as much passion if he were playing for nothing. Even today, in a mid-week game of four-man at 16th Street, Ack wants to destroy his competition with the same intensity as when he did battle with Smith and Stoklos.
It is so appropriate that he now takes his spot in the Hall of Fame within walking distance of the courts where he grew up.