Wednesday, 29 May 2024

Remembering Two-Time Olympian Mike Bright

USA Volleyball was deeply saddened by the passing of Mike Bright, a two-time Olympian and esteemed member of the Volleyball Hall of Fame. His contributions to the sport and his incredible accomplishments will forever be remembered.

A Legacy in Volleyball

Mike Bright represented the United States in the 1964 Olympics in Tokyo, marking the beginning of his Olympic journey. He also proudly donned the red, white, and blue in the 1968 Olympic team in Mexico City and the 1972 U.S. Qualifying Team. Additionally, Bright was a valuable player in the 1960 U.S. National Team and played in the World Championship in Brazil. He also secured a silver medal at the 1963 Pan American Games.

Success in Beach Volleyball

Bright’s talents extended beyond indoor volleyball. He was an accomplished beach volleyball player and partnered with Mike O’Hara to win the Manhattan Beach Open tournament for an impressive five years in a row (1960-1964). Recognizing his outstanding achievements, Bright was rightfully inducted into the Volleyball Hall of Fame in 1993.

A Life of Sports

Aside from volleyball, Mike Bright was also involved in paddleboarding and surfing. In fact, he even competed in these sports when they were exhibition events at the 1956 Olympic Games in Melbourne, Australia. His passion for sports knew no bounds.

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Perseverance and Humor

At the age of 37, Bright faced adversity when he was paralyzed from the waist down due to scuba diving-related issues. Despite this life-altering challenge, he remained determined and found joy in activities such as running his dive shop, swimming, and staying active in sports. He even experimented with a jet-propelled diving device that sent him spinning in a spiral, which only made him laugh harder.

A Volleyball Family

Volleyball was a significant part of the Bright family’s life. Mike married Patricia (Patti) Lucas, an Olympic volleyball player from the 1964 and 1968 U.S. teams, who later became a renowned coach and joined Mike in the Volleyball Hall of Fame. Their daughter, Bonnie Bright, recalls her father coaching her club team, while Patti coached her high school volleyball team. The family’s love for the sport was evident.

Continuing the Legacy

In recent years, Mike and Bonnie’s family shared a home with a beach volleyball court, where the Bright Volleyball Club thrived. Mike would watch from the deck, passionately offering guidance and support. Now, Bonnie is creating the Mike Bright Beach Volleyball Foundation to provide college-bound players from Bright VBC with beach volleyball scholarships. It is a testament to Mike’s commitment to the sport and his desire to give back.


Mike Bright’s legacy in volleyball will forever be remembered. His undeniable talent, determination, and love for the sport have left an indelible mark. Let us honor his memory by continuing to embrace the spirit of volleyball and supporting the next generation of athletes.

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