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Equizi receives Florida Hall of Fame honors

Mark Equizi

Salem native Mark Equizi and Chris Halliday have been presented the Ernest Langford Pioneer Award and inducted into the Florida Region Hall of Fame.

The Florida Region of USA Volleyball recognized the work that Halliday and Equizi put in at the beginning to make boys volleyball in Florida what it is today.

They founded Orlando Gold Volleyball Club in 1990. That same club now has five teams and 49 total players.

However, their work expanded past that one club and sparked a movement to grow boys volleyball across the state of Florida. The Florida Region has grown to over 600 junior male athletes.

Though Equizi has since moved back to Salem, Halliday is still active in the volleyball community and coaches at Winter Park Volleyball Club, a juniors club founded by one of his old players.

Florida Region executive director Steve Bishop said, “Both Mark and Chris are truly pioneers here in the Florida Region. Together, they embarked on a new groundbreaking initiative 30 years ago that has since had a significant impact on the volleyball community in the Florida Region.”

The 69-year-old Equizi was born in Salem, the first of four children of Mr. and Mrs. George Equizi. Mr. Equizi, a longtime banker in Salem, and his wife now reside in the Sarasota, Fla., area.

Mark graduated in 1969 from Salem High School where he started on the boys basketball team. He got involved in volleyball when he moved to Florida.

After returning to Salem, he was the second director of the Salem Community Center and, although semi retired, still helps out at SCC.

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