top of page

norm dunne

San Jose Athletic Club, San Jose YMCA, 21st Point
Inducted as a Player in 2023


Submitted by: Norman Dunne & Tom Fitzwater

I was born at St Mary's Hospital in San Francisco, the youngest of 7 kids. As a kid I grew up following and idolizing my siblings playing sports, whether it was Barb (the best athlete and handball player in the family) playing volleyball at Cal Berkeley, Mike, Rich, Steve, Joanie doing whatever, I always was there.  Any moment a game stopped, baseketball, baseball, football, volleyball, soccer or handball I would get my shots in.... 

Our family vacations were made up of handball tourneys, i would travel with my dad and his friends to bay counties, it was awesome.  Growing up I played any and every sport, while in high school I played football, wrestled and baseball.  However, there was a summer when I played in the juniors at Chabot College. You have to remember, I grew up at handball tournaments and events:  The OC, San Mateo Elks, Modesto, Cal Berkeley, GG park, Palo alto Elks, Los Gatos AC, San Jose Y, Gilroy 3 wall, San Jose Athletic club, Santa Cruz 3 wall, South End , Royal Racquet club, Big C and especially at the 21st Point.   I think it was 15u that I played in my first tourney and snuck out a win against Chris Tico. 

It wasn't until after high school sports were over that I started to really play.  The only reason I played was my dad and mom, the community and, well honestly, it was in my blood.  I love to compete and win.   I first qualified for the tour with Naty Jr at the Tallcorn classic in Iowa, I think 1989~  However, after that 2+ years of taking the game seriously, collegiates and messing around with travel, I knew I had to get a college degree.  i will never forget the collegiate nationals, those were great experiences.   I only played at the Charlie Club 1 time and to this day it has great Dunne vibes.  So I took about 3 years off, got my degree, started my career and then got back into it. The rest followed.  

Handball Idols, well it all stops and starts with my mom and dad.  Why wouldn't it....  Besides my brothers, dad and mom, I grew up around all the greats, I am not sure I would call any of them idols but my bench marks. 21st point and Royal Racquet Club were it, Bike, Kendler, Dunnes, Wyrsch, McDonalds, man so many more... Those times and games were a drag out war.  My dirty little secret, I HATED practice games, they were only about hitting it around, I could care less if I won or lost, unless playing my brothers.  But tourneys, oh man, i loved it and a switch flipped....   Ok,  How about those who had the most influence on me as a person and competitor, again besides my family, Jim Tamagni, Artie Ward, Jake Komstohoeft, Paul Hanley, and Bob Winter.  Right well 2 names were handball travelers, but the others influenced me more than you can ever imagine.  Jim was the only one to ever play with me when no one else would and remains a lifelong friend, Jake taught me to train and respect the game, Artie will always be my life long influence and mentor, and Paul (RIP) and Bob made the game amazingly fun for me all the while teaching me about life and more.   

After 2 knee surgeries and taking a full time break from handball travel.  I met Jennifer, a competitor to the core.  A Stanford graduate, So Cal Transplant living in SF, she barely and I mean barely knew handball.  Other than 1 time a week I would play with Rich/Mike Jr, Bob and Paul.  Come home smiling and laughing.  I played in a few tourneys after we got married, but it didn't take long to realize that it was not important to me anymore, i wanted to help raise our kids and in order to play the level I wanted to, I had to train really hard.  Family was way too important.  We have been married since 2006 and have 3 amazing kids.  Josie is 16 a sophomore in high school and an amazing soccer player,  Owen is 15 a Freshman and a high level baseball player, and Emily is 11 loves volleyball and soccer, excelling at both.  My favorite thing to do is to watch my kids compete.  The only thing I regret or am sad about, that my mom couldn't be with me to watch them play.  

Submitted by: Norm Dunne

Norm Dunne Biography (validated by Tom Fitzwater 8/2020):

Years 1995-2020

Validated wins included the following: (Scoop newsletter date/place).

Oct 1995/San Jose Labor Day Singles, Watsonville Singles
June 1997/Regional Singles (Scoop said this was his 2nd Regional Singles win)  
July 1999/Olympic Club Singles
Aug 2000/Regional Singles
June 2001/Regional Singles
Sept 2001/Watsonville Doubles
Apr 2002/Super Bowl Singles
Aug 2002/Regional Singles
Dec 2002/HOF Doubles, Santa Rosa Singles
June 2003/Regional Singles

Oct 2003/National Doubles 4-wall with Marcos Chavez in Lansing, Michigan over John Bike/Kendall Lewis, 21-6, 21-19

Feb 2007/HOF Doubles
Jan 2010/Cal Cup 35+ Singles over Chris Watkins

Pro Rankings (source was USHA Magazine from 1998-Nov. 2001 and USHA staff from Dec.2001-June 2004):

Aug 1998- 16
Aug 1999-10
Oct 1999-10
June 2000-6
Aug 2000-7
Dec 2000-7
Aug 2001-8
Dec 2001-9
Feb 2002-7
Apr 2002-7
Aug 2002-6
Apr 2003-6
June 2003-7
Aug 2003-7
Apr 2004-13
June 2004-22

Norm Dunne: "There was a huge 3-Wall title I won twice, once with a pretty good partner. :) Bike/I lost in the finals.  I think there was a time that I didn't lose a singles match in Northern California for 6 or 7 years, could have been longer. 95-03 or something like that.  In Open Singles tourneys only NoCal players I ever lost to in a singles tourney match was, Jon Kendler, David Wyrsch, Mike McDonald and James Komstofet. Redeemed every lost multiple times except never played Jon Kendler again. In fact, Mike McDonald was the only one to give me a 0 in a singles game. LOL."

* NCHA Regionals  singles 10 times + , Doubles won 2 or 3.
* Santa Rosa turkey Shoot won 2 times
* OC singles 5 or 6, OC Doubles 2 or 3.
* Watsonville 5 or 6 times
* HoF Doubles 4 or 5 times
* Superbowl tourney - won it 5 or 6 times
* San Jose YMCA - won the singles 3 times
* NYAC title with Mike Dunne Jr.
* SERC Doubles 3-4 times.
* San Mateo - Top Gun 8 or 9 times. 1 time with Steve and several with Junior.
* SoCal - most of my tourneys were Nationals or Pro Stops. Venus outdoor and Fresno outdoor included.  I won Fresno doubles, but never won Venus singles.
* I played in a couple of tourneys with Doug Glatt, but not sure if we won.  Played LAAC with dad Mike Dunne Sr. in a father/son and Doug Glatt. I think we lost in the finals of both.
* I did win Rainbow Beach doubles 2 and singles 1
* I won in La Grange singles
* Won in Arizona doubles title and singles, HoF tourney

Nationals, Pro Tour and World's:

USHA Nationals Collegiates  - Quarters twice and lost in the finals of the Collegiates 1992.

USHA Nationals Doubles - Won the doubles with Marcos 2003, lost in the semis 3 times.

USHA Singles Indoor - Quarters 3 times

USHA Outdoor Singles - Lost to Vince in finals, lost in quarters 3 times.

USHA Outdoor doubles - Dave Dohman and I lost in the finals, you/I lost in
semis, Jake/I lost in semis.

Worlds Singles/Doubles- Lost in the semis a couple of times

I think the highest i was Ranked was #6  might have been #5 at one time
on the Pro tour, lost in semis twice, never made a final.

bottom of page