July 30, 2012
Never Outworked: Golden Gaucho Eric Fonoimoana
Before there was Todd Rogers, there was Eric Fonoimoana.
In 2000, eight years before Rogers claimed gold at the Olympics in Beijing, Fonoimoana, another former UCSB men's volleyball All-American, teamed with his playing partner Dain Blanton, to win the Gold Medal at the Summer Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia.
Fonoimoana was a Gaucho from 1988-92. As a freshman in 1992, he helped the team to the NCAA Championship match against USC. In 1991 and 1992, he earned All-American honors.
One of UCSB's all-time greatest players, "Fonoi" used his incredible leaping ability, tremendous strength and dedication to be in the best condition possible to record more than 1,300 career kills, 600 digs and 70 service aces during his career. In 2001, he was inducted into the UCSB Intercollegiate Athletics Hall of Fame
After his Gaucho career was over, Fonoimoana began a beach volleyball career that would span 18 years, result in numerous Association of Volleyball Professionals (AVP) tournaments, participation in more than and an AVP Player of the Year honor in 2002. In 2008, the Manhattan Beach native reached the $1 million mark in career earnings.
In addition to his volleyball, Fonoimoana is an accomplished real estate agent in the South Bay area of Los Angeles. He also founded "Dig 4 Kids," a foundation that helps kids in the inner city excel in school and volleyball.
Eric Fonoimoana, truly a golden Gaucho.