Former Culver City High School football, basketball and volleyball letterman, Greg Giovanazzi, who led UCLA to NCAA championships as both a player and an assistant coach, died last Monday at his home in Maryland. He was 54.
Giovanazzi played on the 1976 Bruin team that defeated Pepperdine, 3-0, for UCLA's sixth NCAA men's volleyball title. He served a decade as a UCLA men's and women's volleyball assistant coach, mentoring each squad to NCAA titles.
“Greg stayed close with many of his Culver City High School friends through the years. He was one of my best friends,” said Dannie Cavanaugh, who played volleyball and other sports with Giovanazzi along with former Centaurs Paul Conley, Dave Brown, Terry Strausser, and Bob Launious.
Giovanazzi also served as head coach at Santa Monica College and was voted State Coach of the Year.
At UCLA, Giovanazzi earned varsity letters for legendary Coach Al Scates, who once worked as a recreation leader in Culver City at Blanco Park. Former Bruin women’s volleyball coach Andy Banachowski, who lived across from Lindberg Park in Culver City, said Giovanazzi loved to coach and teach and impacted everyone he met.
Giovanazzi sustained chronic migraines, which forced him to relinquish coaching jobs during extended periods over the past 30 years.