Karolyn Kirby was born in 1961 in Brookline,
Massachusetts and started playing volleyball at a young age.
She was a three letter sport athlete when she began
specializing in volleyball in her sophomore year. As a
sophomore she was selected to attend Scotty Mose's Junior
Olympic Training Center in
New York, which set her career in motion. In High School, she
was captain for two years and in 1979 led her team to a
State Championship title and was named Massachusetts High
School 'All Scholastic Player of the Year'. She attended
Utah State University on full scholarship for three years
and then the University of Kentucky for her last year of
college. In college, Karolyn was a three time All American
and finalist for the Broderick Award.
Karolyn played indoor volleyball on the USA National Team from 1983-1987, she was an alternate to the 1984 Olympic Team and then served as Captain through 1987. She distinguished herself as a top player in the world with recognition at numerous World Tournaments. After her play with the National Team, she played professionally in Italy and Brazil.
Despite her indoor accomplishments, Karolyn Kirby will probably be remembered for her total Beach Volleyball dominance. Her list of accomplishments is awe inspiring and her presence on the beach court delighted many with tournament domination from 1989-1996.
Karolyn Kirby was the most dominant player in the world for over a decade, breaking every existing record for wins. In 1993 she teamed up with Liz Masakayan and they became the most successful team the pro circuit had ever seen, amassing a team record of 29 wins together. In 1991 and 1992, Kirby was selected to be the female Player Representative to the Federation Internationale de Volleyball (FIVB) and was a member of the World Council that established Beach Volleyball as an Olympic sport. In 1992 Karolyn Kirby won the very first Gold Medal for Beach Volleyball at Barcelona in the 1992 Olympics and was named 'MVP'.
Along the path of her career, Kirby has also won many prestigious awards; she was dubbed the "Best Player in the World" by the FIVB for three straight years (1992-1994), WPVA Best Hitter, WPVA Best Offensive Player, WPVA Best Setter 6 times, and WPVA MVP 4 times. She was inducted into the 2004 International Volleyball Hall of Fame in Holyoke, Massachusetts, 1993 Brookline High School Hall of Fame, and the 2005 Utah State University Hall of Fame.
Throughout her career, Karolyn Kirby has distinguished herself as a supreme competitor and professional. She is an outstanding teacher with a wealth of knowledge to pass onto a new generation of volleyball players.