Gene Selznick (Associated Press/Volleyball Hall of Fame)
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Beach volleyball legend Gene Selznick has died after a lifetime in the sport, one of his sons said Monday. He was 82.
Selznick died Sunday at Kindred Hospital in Los Angeles after a series of health issues culminating in pneumonia, Dane Selznick told The Associated Press.
Gene Selznick began his career as beach volleyball first began to organize on the Southern California coast in the years after World War II. He soon became one of the dominating figures in the sport.
He also played indoor volleyball, played on the U.S. men's team and went on to coach U.S. teams, mostly women.
"In beach volleyball he was a pioneer," Dane Selznick said in a telephone interview. "He kind of set the pace for a lot of what today's players are enjoying — Olympic gold medals, lucrative paychecks. They've made a comfortable living. My dad never made any money on it. He's kind of like the old timers of other sports."
Selznick began playing at age 19 and he remained in the sport as a club coach as recently as a year and a half ago, his son said.
"He's touched a lot of people in this game," he said.
In addition to Dane, Gene Selznick is also survived by two other sons, Bob and Jack.
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