Marist High School alum Joe Smalzer '09 will be inducted to the East Suburban Catholic Conference (ESCC) Hall of Fame at a ceremony on Thursday, April 11.
Smalzer helped Marist to three conference titles, two regional titles, and the 2009 sectional crown. He was named ESCC Player of the Year in 2008 and 2009 and earned Volleyball Magazine's "Fab 50" and AVCA First Team All-America status in 2009.
Smalzer played at Loyola University of Chicago, which won the NCAA Championship his senior season. He was a three-time AVCA All-American, and following college played professionally in Finland for Team Lakkapaa. At Loyola, the Marist graduate became the first three-time All-American in program history. He was the 2013 Midwestern Intercollegiate Conference (MIVA) Player of the Year and was named the Most Valuable Player of the 2014 MIVA Tournament. Far and away Loyola's career leader with 234 aces, Smalzer also racked up 1,424 career kills, good for fourth on LU's all-time list and second among players in the rally scoring era.
Today, Smalzer is an account manager for Amazon Web Services. He and his wife, Kory, live in Chicago. He still loves the game and enjoys giving back to younger players. He has returned to Marist to mentor RedHawk volleyball athletes.
Smalzer joins Paul Andreotti '89, Lauren Haberkorn Niehoff '08, Gene Nolan '92, Maurice Mitchell '89, Tony Evensen '83, Gary Kostrubala '82, Larry Tucker '79, Carl Cozen '90, and former coaches Don Kuehner, Br. Rich Grenier, Ray Balcarcel, Al Brazen, Mark Gervais, and Pat Quinn in the conference hall of fame.