Class of 2000
Active: 1979 - 2000
60 Open Victories
by Jill Gottesman
Another larger-than-life character in a sport that was once dominated by them, Tim Hovland's colorful style both on and off the court earned him the reputation of being one of the sport's most entertaining players to watch: an original smack talker who delighted the crowd with his antics.
With partner Mike Dodd, it was Hovland's fiery personality mellowed by Dodd's steady hand that resulted in one of the most successful pairings in beach volleyball history. "He always kept it together for us," recalls Hovland. "I'd be screaming and yelling at everyone, and he's be over there telling me to calm down. Somehow it worked."
A Westchester, CA, native who excelled in three sports in high school, Tim started playing volleyball when he was about 10 years, spending hours at the Westport Beach Club in Playa del Rey. He met Mike Dodd in 1981 when the two played for the U.S. National Team Training Center in San Diego. The two went on to have one of the most successful runs in beach volleyball history.
"We had a chemistry that was built over hours and hours of playing together on the beach," says Hovland. "And our success was really about our competitive nature...we just didn't want to lose!"
Hovland points to his wins in the South Bay as his most memorable. "Any time you win in Manhattan or Hermosa, it's special," he says. "We played so many hours of volleyball at Marine St. in Manhattan Beach...it was our home."
In fact, it's that beach lifestyle that Hovland says he misses the most about the pro volleyball circuit. "You couldn't have picked a better place for your 'work office', " he says today. "There was a simplicity to life back then that I'll never forget. I was lucky enough to enjoy it back then; those were great days."