Menlo College says goodbye to one of the most storied and successful coaches in the department's history, after Bill Imwalle officially announced his retirement. Imwalle rejuvenated the Lady Oaks volleyball program as head coach from 1999-2009, while also leading the Oaks golf team as head coach from 2004-2012.
Imwalle leaves his Menlo career as the Volleyball program's second most winningest coach, compiling a remarkable 144-87 (.623) record. His tenure included five California Pacific Conference championships, four undefeated conference seasons, and two NAIA National Tournament appearances. In addition, Imwalle's his five Cal Pac championship teams posted a combined 71-1 conference record.
"Bill's service and commitment to our student-athletes in both volleyball and golf has been immeasurable," said Menlo Director of Athletics Keith Spataro on the departure of Imwalle. "He has been instrumental in the transformation of both programs to conference contenders and he will be missed."
Imwalle restored the volleyball program back to its former glory, mirroring the proud tradition of the late 1980s. Under Menlo Hall of Fame Coach Malcolm Taylor (182-85 record), the Lady Oaks reached the pinnacle with a No. 1 national ranking in 1986, while the 1989 team won the Western Region Championship and earned a trip to the Final Four in St. Louis, MO. The 1989 squad is still the only team in Menlo College sports history to reach an NCAA Final Four.
After the days of Taylor's triumphant reign, the program went into a steady decline that lasted through the mid-90s. It wasn't until Imwalle came on the scene in 1999, that the Lady Oaks got back to their winning ways.
No other Menlo coach has accumulated as many conference championships in the department's history, while Imwalle himself was recognized as the Cal Pac Coach of the Year on four separate occasions. His players won numerous accolades as well throughout his sparkling tenure, with Imwalle playing an influential part in the development of 37 All-Conference selections, nine Conference Players of the Year, two NAIA All-Americans, and nine more NAIA Academic All-Americans.
A graduate of Long Beach State, Imwalle started for the 49ers volleyball team and was an NCAA All-American. He followed his collegiate career with success on the professional beach volleyball circuit, placing third in the 1976 World Championships, the largest money tournament at that time in beach volleyball history.
"Bill leaves behind a tremendous legacy as one of the most successful Menlo coaches of all-time," said the aforementioned Spataro. "He is without a doubt an Oaks legend and we wish him all the best in his future endeavors."