Greg Giovanazzi Passes Away
Greg Giovanazzi

March 21, 2012

Remembering Greg Giovanazzi in Photos

Greg Giovanazzi, head coach of the University of Michigan Volleyball team from 1992 through 1998, passed away suddenly on Monday after suffering a seizure at his home in Maryland. He was 54.

"The Michigan volleyball program is shocked and saddened by this news," said U-M's Head Volleyball Coach Mark Rosen. "I knew Greg well before I took this job at Michigan.

"When I became the head coach at Michigan, I felt honored that I followed him."
- Head Volleyball Coach Mark Rosen

"When I was the head coach at Northern Michigan, he served as a mentor as I would drive to Ann Arbor just to talk to him and learn more about our sport," added Rosen. "After he resigned, he continued to stay in contact with our program. When I became the head coach at Michigan, I felt honored that I followed him."

In 1997, Giovanazzi led the Wolverines to their first NCAA Tournament, advancing to the second round of competition. The team had a 21-12 record placing third in Big Ten play with a 13-7 record. The 13 wins in conference play is still a Michigan best. In seven seasons as the U-M head coach, his teams went 104-116 overall and 59-81 in the Big Ten.

Severe migraines forced Giovanazzi to resign from his Michigan post after the 1998 season. The migraines continued for most of his life, and he stepped down from several coaching positions due to this medical condition.

Not only was Giovanazzi considered an excellent coach, he was also a very talented volleyball player. As a college player at UCLA, Giovanazzi earned varsity letters in 1976, '77 and '78, before leaving school as a senior to play professionally in Italy. The 1976 team was 15-2 and defeated Pepperdine 3-0 for UCLA's sixth NCAA men's volleyball title. Overall, the Bruins were 55-9 and won a pair of conference championships while Giovanazzi was a Bruin.

"Our prayers and condolences go out to his daughter Casey and wife Deb, Greg was a good man who loved his family and the game of volleyball."

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