NJIT will induct former coach Dave DeNure, of Roxbury, into its 2009 Athletics Hall of Fame on May 9, 2009 in the Campus Center Atrium. DeNure, who is currently a coach at Morris Knolls High School, worked at NJIT from 1982 to 1998, including service as head coach of four teams. Most prominently, he headed men’s and women’s volleyball, producing 325 wins in 19 seasons between the two programs.
Tickets for the event, which will feature a cocktail reception followed by dinner are $75. For more information, please contact Kathy Dickerson, 973-596-3456.
By the time DeNure joined NJIT’s staff in 1982, he was a 1978 graduate of East Stroudsburg (PA) University, and already had coached both the men’s and women’s volleyball teams for a year at his alma mater.
The product of Morris Knolls High School in Denville, DeNure was well-versed in volleyball from a young age, having learned from his father, who was a top-level player. At a time when few high schools had teams, he competed against top men’s club teams alongside his father.
Dave then played four years of college volleyball, making the all-Eastern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association teams after each of his final three years in a career that would earn him a spot in the East Stroudsburg Hall of Fame in 1994.
A setter and hitter, he was an international-level player, representing the United States in the 1979 World University Games and taking part in the 1979 National Sports Festival.
He also played variants of traditional volleyball, including Wallyball (volleyball on a racquetball court) and beach volleyball. In 1981, he won the Wallyball national triples championship, teaming with Joe Garcia (the sport’s founder) and retired basketball superstar Wilt Chamberlain. DeNure’s pro beach volleyball career included wins on the East Coast and facing such all-time greats as Karch Kiraly, Sinjin Smith and Randy Stoklos.
Arriving in Newark in 1982, he worked with Oleg Moiseenko to coach the first NJIT women’s team in 1982 and with the men’s team in 1983. By the time DeNure left NJIT in 1998, he was head coach of the men’s team for 10 seasons and the women’s for nine seasons, including a four-year stretch in which he led both teams simultaneously.
His overall record with the men was 175-126, with four 20-win seasons and five others of at least 17 wins. NJIT competed at the NCAA Division III level in those days, but as now, it was part of the EIVA, which has teams from all three NCAA levels, including Division I Penn State, which has won two national championships.
DeNure’s Highlanders finished as national Division III runners-up in 1997 and they were EIVA Division III champions twice and runners-up twice. In his final season as head coach (1998), NJIT tied for first place in its EIVA division and was the circuit’s top Division II team. The highlight of that final season in 1998 was a victory over Penn State, which lost just three EIVA matches in the entire decade.
On the women’s side, it was a couple of years, but by 1984 the record was 10-5 and his teams topped 20 wins in four out of five seasons from 1986 to 1990. The top mark of 26-6 came in 1998, when the team captured first place in two different leagues and reached the ECAC tournament semifinals for the second straight year. DeNure’s overall record with the women’s team was 150-93.
Besides volleyball, DeNure coached the first women’s softball team at NJIT and he also coached NJIT’s second-ever women’s basketball team in the 1987-88 season.
DeNure left NJIT in December 1998 to return to his high school alma mater, Morris Knolls, as a teacher and coach. Now on the high school level, he started the girls’ volleyball program at Randolph (NJ) High and then started the girls’ team at Morris Knolls, enabling him to teach and coach in the same building. Combining his work at the college and high school levels, DeNure owns a career coaching record of 613 wins and 325 losses.
In addition, he teams with another ex-NJIT coach, Manny Del Rio, to lead the “Cut Shot” club team.
Dave resides with his wife, Deb, and their son, Dan (12), and daughter, Lexi (9).
Looking back, he is struck by the type of people who are student-athletes at the school. “I had the opportunity to coach so many good kids,” he said. “They were good players, but they were also good students. They would miss practices to do school work, instead of the other way around, the way it is in so many other cases. To carry the loads they do and to play so well, it was a lot of fun to coach people like that.”