Class of 2016
John Featherstone, or “Feather” as he is known in our volleyball community, brings an infectious joy, passion, and optimism to everything he touches. He is being inducted tonight as a contributor to the sport of beach volleyball because he brought those exact traits to our sport.
Feather graduated from legendary Mira Costa High School, where he was a four-sport star in track and field, baseball, football, and volleyball. He chose to play football in college, first at El Camino and then San Diego State, and has spent his life balancing his love for volleyball with his love of the gridiron.
Despite a full-time career playing and then coaching football, Featherstone has always remained involved in beach volleyball. He was a constant competitor in tournaments during the 1970s and 1980s and was instrumental to the growth of beach volleyball in San Diego. Along with his brother Fred, John ran some of the first clinics in the area and was responsible for securing the permits for the construction of many of the courts in South Mission Beach.
Feather was also a long-time CBVA tournament director in Mission Beach, running events at every level for both men and women. John and his brother brought the first professional tournaments to San Diego, including the World Beach Men’s Doubles Championships held in the San Diego Sports Arena in 1975.
In the 1980s and 1990s, Featherstone became a fixture on the exploding AVP and WPVA tours as one of the most respected officials, refereeing events throughout the United States. He helped bring professionalism to beach officiating, commanding respect from both players and his officiating peers.
As importantly, for two decades, well before the era of expensive clubs and private trainers, John ran the most successful youth beach volleyball camps in the South Bay. Generations of players—locals as well as kids from as far away as Australia, Mexico, and Japan—got their first taste of the sand game by attending Feather’s camps. Like everything he does, he brought fun and passion to his camps, passing on his joy, not only for the game, but for life itself.
Feather did all of this for our sport while at the same time becoming one of the most successful football coaches in California history. At El Camino College, Feather won 214 games, 11 conference championships, two state titles and a national championship. He was twice named the National Coach of the Year. Hundreds of his players have received college scholarships with many going on to successful NFL careers. When Featherstone retired this last year, the outpouring of support from his former players was unprecedented.
While John is rightfully proud of his accomplishments in sports, it pales in comparison to the pride he takes in his four daughters Terre, Ivy, Keegan, and Arianna and his grandchildren, Gabriel and Mavericks, with two more on the way. In 2013, Feather united two great volleyball families when he married Diane Frohoff, mother of Hall of Famer Brent Frohoff.
John Featherstone is an example of how to live life the right way: with dedication, joy, optimism, and a constant smile. We, the beach volleyball community, have been lucky to have him as part of our family.