Hall of Fame

1st toast - Vitas and Arbanis - 1981

1st toast - Vitas and Arbanis - 1981

For almost 4 decades, The Gillis has been evolving into different personalities. Each time, changes occurred because people expressed themselves in their own unique way, adding a whole new dimension to the tourney. Last year we honored and chronicled the people who have meant the most to us and this evolution. For those of you who have been around a few decades, you might recognize all of them. For the newer attendee, this will be a history lesson worth taking to help you understand and appreciate the people who make the Gillis what it is.

Chris Chavez, Geyer, JJ and Turley during the finals - 1984

Beta Rahn

Arico & Max Pepe - 1986

Turley - Homeless - 1986

Dik Johnson, Turley and crew - Jailhouse Rock - 1985

Jailhouse Rock: First camp ever, with live band too and inmates galore. What a Bust!

Gillis Gold - First Year Inductees

Denny Smith

Wheeler & Bush and all the Dancers








America's Team

Turley & Johnson

Johnny O' Grady

Big Murph


Al Vallarine

Kevin Lennon

Betsey & Robert

Steve Davis

Tootie & Jonno

Sean Keefe

There have only been 2 people, besides Steve and me, who have attended every single tournament since its inception in 1971. Denny Smith and Alan Vallarine were there when we had 17 teams that first year, but a big reason we still know all the details of that first one, and every year since, is because Denny Smith chronicled all of them with his stellar photography. Both are St. Bernards grads, but Denny has known every player who ever played in Playa del Rey. He got a G with Mark Prior in 1978, Won the Hoffy with Ebba in ’92, won the 6-Man in ’96, and was King in ’89 alongside Queen Veronica Cressman. No one has contributed more than Denny over the past 38 years.

Pat Turley and Dik Johnson

At Gillis 6-9, matching homemade trunks were the rage. At Gillis 10, a new standard was set by Turley and Johnson when they rented an antique car, had a driver bring them on the bike path and appeared at the tourney dressed as Laurel and Hardy. They even had 1920′s swimsuits and acted out the characters during games. After that year, they went to even greater lengths. They rented horses and came as The Lone Ranger and Tonto. They rented a camel and rode it down the beach dressed as oil sheiks. Another year, they arrived as the police, in rented uniforms and squad cars to bust the drinkers. They pulled down tarps covering a jail cell, erected the night before, to reveal a live band and dancers dressed in stripes, all singing with Turley to Jailhouse Rock.The next year they drove down the bikepath in a rented stretch limo dressed as beachbums from Hawaii. Their finale was just as spectacular as they dressed as bums, strolled down the beach towards the Gillis, searching in every trash can for something to eat. No one knew who they were until they grabbed the microphone and gave a speech. This run of 5-6 years made every team want to wear costumes, a key ingredient to the spectacle of todays Gillis.

Gillis Silver - Second Year Inductees

Greg Davis & Mike Metz


Ted Holcomb and Crew



Fly & Healy


Sean Icaza - There are only a handful of Gillis legends on the Volleyball court. Sean is one of the top players to ever grace Gillis Beach. He’s appeared in more finals without winning than he cares to remember, but he’s gotten 2 “G” ratings. He’s brought his skills, costumes and Gillis party attitude every year for a decade, and he sure is pretty.

Greg Davis and Mike Metz - Both are legends in every aspect of the Gillis. Great costumes year in and year out, great volleyball players and awesome camps and skits. Their whole crew is totally into the Gillis each and every year. Mike Metz lives in his costume from Friday night till dawn on Monday, and consistently makes it to the finals in full garb. These guys epitomize the spirit of the Gillis.

Gillis Bronze - Third Year Inductees

OZ and Hill

Mike Kerker

Brian Brandlin

Eric Read

Robby Brown

The Stuetzel Bros.

Dannie Cavanaugh

Eric Read has been one of the most consistently creative forces for over a decade, helping the Knolly Camp achieve stardom at the Gillis. If it wasn’t for him, nobody in that camp would have gotten close to the Hall.

OZ and Hill (and the whole court)

Ozurovich and Hill have been attending The Gillis for over 25 years, conducting their own tourney within a tourney each year, keeping the St. Bernards Hoffy connection going strong. They have stayed together as a team the entire time and are the leaders of the most vocal camp and court at the Gillis.

Robby Brown - This King has been showing his positive attitude and winning smile for over 25 years at The Gillis. He always picks a partner cuz he’ll have a blast with them, not because he wants to win (right Butch?). He has always been one of the best personalities to grace this beach. It’s amazing too, he’s still available. Girls? You’re missing out.

Mike Kerker & Crew - Can you say “Life of the Gillis”? This guy can carry the weekend party on his shoulders alone. His clan of Gillis animals bring the spirit of this tournament to new heights. From their great camps and costumes to the high level of volleyball in full dress, Mike and his crew are welcome members to the Hall of Fame.

The Stuetzel Bros., Phil (Dad) and Robby - The great Harry can no longer cast a shadow on these local boys who have attended almost all 31 tourneys. Robby has been the builder and idea guy for so many great camps and teams, even dancing in diapers one year. Phil has carried many players, including his dad, to new heights over 3 decades. It must be a family thing.

Brian Brandlin - Brian has been the force behind his own court for decades now. He never even moves a large muscle or gets his hair out of place while directing party-goers from his beach chair. The group he commands seems to get larger and larger each year but never out of control. His penchant for free legal advise while sipping a Coors Light is made from legends. Stop by Brandlin Legal Clinic, always at the south side of the G Spot.

Dannie Cavanaugh (with Horimoto) - Once a proud Oiler, Dannie has been THE ever-present force that united all Culver City Gillis participants for 3 decades. Some grow up there and move on, but Dannie is the never-moving king. His costumes and great Legends play never diminish and his support each year places him in the Bronze Gods of the Gillis.

2014 Hall of Fame Inductees

The Gnomes

The Stutzels

The Lennons

The Boehles

The Jackass Posse

The Ted Wakeman Crew