Athletes > Logan Tom > Bio

Born: May 25, 1981
Napa, CA
Hometown: Salt Lake City, UT
Residence: Long Beach, CA
Ht: / Wt: 6'1" / 170 lbs
Olympics: 2004, 2000
Event(s): Women's volleyball
Position: Outside hitter

Olympic ups and downs
Logan Tom was a hot commodity coming out of Highland High School in Salt Lake City. Wooed by the U.S. national team and numerous colleges, she chose Stanford University. But after poor U.S. performances at the 1998 World Championships (0-3) and the 1999 World Cup (3-8), then-coach Mike Haley shook things up by inviting Tom and other promising collegians to try out in early 2000. Though only 19, Tom made the Olympic team -- she was the youngest on the roster by two years -- and helped the U.S. finish fourth in Sydney with 96 kills, 17 blocks and eight aces. Four years later in Athens, with the team enduring high expectations, the U.S. placed fifth. Despite leading the team in scoring (79 kills, 15 blocks, 7 aces), Tom ended the Games on the bench for poor play.

Tom discovered volleyball in eighth grade after stints with many other sports, including baseball.
Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images
Tom discovered volleyball in eighth grade after stints with many other sports, including baseball.

Back in the mix
That disappointing finish in Athens was thought to be the end of Tom with Team USA. She spent the next three years playing professionally overseas and on the beach in the United States. After being named the 2006 AVP Rookie of the Year and enjoying some success -- much of which was with 2004 Olympic beach volleyball bronze medalist Holly McPeak -- it appeared as if Tom might stay on the beach full-time. But her beach partnerships never fully prospered, so she asked if the U.S. women's indoor team still had a spot for her, and it did. At her first international tournament with the U.S. in almost three years, Tom was named one of three 2007 World Cup MVP nominees after finishing tied for third overall in scoring.

Back to the beach?
Tom says the easiest thing for her to do in beach volleyball was dig hard driven balls, "because I'm used to having balls come at me all the time" in indoor volleyball. Upon returning from the beach, Tom said the hardest thing for her to do was regain her full arm swing because she was told to half-swing on the beach. Though she had to break habits once back with the national team, Tom isn't ruling out a return to the sand. "I enjoyed it, I like the beach. I guess I'll probably, if I go back to the beach, want to keep up something more light for me, just from a professional point of view, if I'm still playing indoor. Just because you book eight months out of the year where volleyball is my job -- I take it more seriously -- where I don't want 12 months to be like that."

High-flying Cardinal
During Tom's freshman season at Stanford, she teamed with a senior by the name of Kerri Walsh to lead the Cardinal to the NCAA final. Tom then took a semester off to prepare for the 2000 Olympics, where she also played with Walsh, who graduated in 1999 and won Olympic beach volleyball gold in 2004. But Tom returned in October 2000, and although she played only half the matches that season, she led the team in kills and service aces. In 2001, with Tom there the entire season, Stanford won the NCAA championship. Tom's 621 kills set a school record, and she was named the AVCA National Player of the Year. Tom took that honor again her senior season, in which Stanford lost in the NCAA final.

Because of her early days as a teenage sensation, many of Tom's U.S. teammates call her "Doogie", in reference to the fictional TV child prodigy Doogie Howser, MD. "I'll be 40 and they'll still be calling me Doogie," she says. Although at this point it mostly comes from captain Robyn Ah Mow-Santos and veteran Danielle Scott-Arruda. "It never leaves. It's the older players, because I was 15, 16 when I first made the national team... It's cute, it's endearing. There's some players I don't think I've heard say my actual name."

Prep phenom
The nickname was founded on good reason, though. In high school she set Utah state records for career kills and service aces, helped lead Highland to two state titles, was featured as a 1997 Old Spice Athlete of the Month in Sports Illustrated and appeared on ESPN's "Scholastic Sports America." In addition to graduating as valedictorian of her class with a 4.0 GPA, Tom also was an all-state selection in basketball and placed third in the state in javelin as a senior.

Yankee dreams
Tom's parents split up when she was small. Tom and her brother, Landon, mainly lived with their mother, Kris, in Salt Lake City but spent summers with their father, Melvyn, in Hawaii, where she learned to surf. Melvyn played defensive end in the NFL for the Bears and Eagles from 1967-75. Before discovering volleyball in eighth grade, Tom tried soccer, basketball, softball, track and baseball. She loved baseball so much she played on Little League teams and said, "Growing up I always wanted to be a (New York) Yankee but going to school at Stanford kind of shifted me towards the Giants and the A's."


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