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Matt Fuerbringer, Millennium Hall of Fame

September 10, 1999

Matt Fuerbringer has a bachelor's degree in American studies from

Stanford, but his postgraduate work in professional volleyball has

allowed him to explore the rest of the world.

Fuerbringer, a 6-foot-7 outside hitter and former four-time

All-American at Stanford, is playing his second season for Bayern Werk of

the Austrian Indoor Pro League.

After being cut from the U.S. National team earlier this year,

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Fuerbringer, healthy now following right shoulder surgery two years ago,

decided to join the pro beach tour and, on July 11, finished 13th at the

Muskegon, Mich., Open and earned his first American paycheck in the sport

he grew up loving.

A former Estancia High basketball sensation and three-year starter

under Coach Tim O'Brien, Fuerbringer opted for volleyball when Stanford

waved a full scholarship in front of him. Fuerbringer played for the

Orange County Volleyball Club, but performed in relative obscurity at

Estancia.

"I was a lot more focused on (basketball) then," Fuerbringer said from

his seasonal home in Vienna, Austria, where he played last year and led

Bayern Werk to the Austrian Indoor Pro League championship.

Fuerbringer, who led Stanford to the NCAA men's national volleyball

championship in 1997, was an All-CIF Southern Section Division III

selection in basketball his junior year at Estancia, which captured CIF

and State Division III titles under O'Brien. "I learned a lot from Tim

O'Brien," Fuerbringer said. "He's still the best coach I ever had in any

sport."

In addition to winning a state high school basketball championship in

1991, Fuerbringer's career highlights include providing the

match-clinching block against UCLA in the 1997 NCAA championship match at

Columbus, Ohio, as Fuerbringer garnered all-tournament laurels.

A collegiate All-American by numerous publications, Fuerbringer set

several Stanford volleyball records and joined the U.S. National team in

February 1998 and played for seven months, before signing a one-year

contract with the Vienna-based Bayern Werk.

But, after an outstanding season in Austria, Fuerbringer returned to

the U.S. National team, but was cut after only three weeks.

"I was a little shocked, but not too much," said Fuerbringer, who, at

age 25, had no Olympic experience, but was probably considered too old

for the program's new direction under U.S. Coach Doug Biehl. "I wasn't

going to be a starter, and, in my spot, they wanted somebody with more

Olympic experience or they were going to go with one of the younger guys

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