About Kirk Kilgour
Kirk Kilgour was born in Los Angeles and raised in Manhattan Beach, California where he learned to love sport, competing in beach volleyball, surfing, snow skiing, basketball, baseball and track and field. Kirk received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from UCLA in 1972 where he was a member and President of Phi Kappa Psi fraternity. He led the Bruins to NCAA National Championships in Volleyball in 1970 and 1971 as a first team All-American. In 1971 he was NCAA Division I Volleyball Player of the Year. Kirk was a member of the U.S. National Volleyball Team from 1968 to 1975. He was the first American to compete in the Italian Professional Volleyball League-First Division as a player and coach for the Ariccia Volley Club in 1974, 1975 and 1976. Ariccia won the Italian League Volleyball Championship in 1974 and 1975. Kirk was twice named to the All-Italian League First Team and was only the third American to be selected to the Volleyball All World Team. Kirk became a charter member of the UCLA Athletic Hall of Fame in 1985, and his UCLA jersey #13 was the first number retired in school history in 1986. He was also a member of the California Beach Volleyball Association Hall of Fame and selected as a “Legend of Beach Volleyball.”
On January 8, 1976, while training with the Italian National Volleyball Team, Kirk sustained a spinal cord injury that left him paralyzed from the shoulders down. After his injury, Kirk maintained an active lifestyle as a sports broadcaster, volleyball coach, actor, writer, producer, disability consultant and motivational speaker. He served as the assistant coach and head coach of men’s volleyball at Pepperdine University in Malibu, California from 1979-1985 where he had the privilege of coaching five Olympic gold medalists.
Kirk had a successful television career, working as an expert on-camera analyst, commentator and interviewer for ABC, CBS, NBC, TBS, TNT, ESPN, FOX, MSG, PRIME, SPORTSCHANNEL, PBS, and Rai Uno and Rai Due in Italy. Kirk covered three Olympic games and numerous amateur and professional sporting events. He was featured on dozens of television and radio shows, including Entertainment Tonight, The Leeza Show, Sunday Morning with Charles Kuralt, The Today Show, and Financial News Network’s “Entrepreneurs.” Kirk’s career was covered by Sports Illustrated, Volleyball Magazine, New Mobility, the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times, and in Italy by Pallavolo Italia and all major Italian print media. Kirk was selected by the media to receive the Barcelona Olympic Games Gold Medal for Outstanding Color Commentator. He also received “The Communicator Award” for broadcasting an outstanding event at the Atlanta Olympic Games.
Kirk dedicated his time and energy to many worthwhile organizations including United Way, Tierra Del Sol, the UCLA Chancellor’s Committee on Disabilities, Ahead With Horses, and the KCET (PBS) Community Advisory Board. Kirk served as a City of Los Angeles Commissioner, Commission on Disability; Past President of the Independent Living Center of Southern California; and a board member of the National Spinal Cord Injury Association. For his service to the community, Kirk received The Presidential Letter of Merit, a Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition from the U.S. House of Representatives, and recognition from the California State Senate, the California State Assembly and the Los Angeles City Council. He also received the J. C. Penny Golden Rule Award as “Volunteer of the Year.” In February of 2000, Kirk was given a personal audience with Pope John Paul II.