Winthrop “Wink” Davenport Jr. 2021
Wink started playing AAU volleyball in New York around attending Wesleyan University in Connecticut on a basketball scholarship. He was team captain and set a school record with 44 points in a game while averaging 19.6 ppg for his career. He also lettered two years in golf before turning to a volleyball career. He moved to Santa Monica in 1966 and was selected for the USA National Team as a 6-7 middle blocker. He won a gold medal with the USA team at 1967 Pan American Games and competed for the USA at the 1968 Mexico City Olympic Games. He played in the 1969 World Cup. In 1971 Davenport captained Santa Monica to the USVBA National Championship, winning All-American honors.
Because of bad knees he retired after 1971 and became an international referee as well as the top NCAA official for the men’s college game. He was also the first significant referee for the NCAA women’s sport that began in 1981. He officiated at the USA Cup, the World Junior Championships, the World Championships, the World Cup and the Olympics. Davenport was the finals official for 11 NCAA men’s and 6 women’s championships. He retired as an active referee in 1995 and helped coordinate officials at the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games. In 1996 Davenport was selected for USA Volleyball’s Wilbur H. Peck Referee–Emeritus Award. He was inducted into the Wesleyan Athletics Hall of Fame in 2009.