Class of 2014Active: 1968 - 1977
9 Open Victories
From 1969 until he retired from serious competition in 1974, Bob Clem was one of the most consistent players on the Open circuit. He won his first tournament at Rosecrans with Gene Pflueger and went on to win tournaments with Larry Rundle, Ron Lang, Matt Gage, and Ron Von Hagen at beaches as far north as Santa Cruz and as far south as San Diego.
Clem not only played with great players he also beat the best. The list of legendary Hall of Famers he beat in tournament finals includes Von Hagen, Gage, Greg Lee, Butch May, Mike Bright, and Henry Bergman.
Clem was a versatile athlete, playing both basketball and volleyball at San Diego State in the late 1960s. On the volleyball court, he was an excellent all-around player known for his meticulous preparation and attention to detail.
Clem could bring plenty of heat when attacking, but was also superb at the off-speed shots. In one famous match, he and Matt Gage trailed Von Hagen and Greg Lee 2 to 10 in the finals of the 1972 Laguna Open. Clem made six consecutive shots that just hit the rope to come back and win the match and the tournament.
Bob Clem was also one of the few players who held down a full-time job while competing. A successful businessman and entrepreneur, he held build the Chart House restaurant chain and went on to operate several other restaurants.
Bob Clem's place in beach volleyball history was most certainly cemented with his 1971 victory at the Manhattan Open. With partner Larry Rundle, Clem beat the legendary team of Von Hagen and Bergman to take his place among the beach volleyball greats whose names are permanently inscribed on the pier.
And now his name in permanently inscribed in the beach volleyball hall of fame.