You could call the guy anything and he’d respond. Cookie Robinson. Danny Fahrenheit (because, as he liked to say, “it’s heating up!”). Lamb Rivermore. Midnight Verde. Greenhouse. If there’s one thing Eric Zaun loved — and he loved a great deal of things — it was a good nickname. Or a bad one, really. He didn’t care. So long as you didn’t call him Eric.
For whatever reason, he wasn’t a huge fan of his own name, hence the astonishing number of aliases that Zaun chose to go by. And yet, there is one that will have lasting power.
Eric Zaun was The Road Dog.
His time with us was too short. Yet the impact he made, on communities all over the world, from Vietnam to Cherry Hill, a little town in South Carolina called Gaffney to a booming metropolis in California called Los Angeles. Anyone who came into contact with Eric Zaun left better than they were before or, at the very least, had one heck of a story to tell.
That’s the mission of the Eric Zaun Scholarship: To ensure his spirit lives on in the sport of beach volleyball. Founded in 2019 by a group of beach volleyball players who had grown close with Zaun, the scholarship is intended to help those who embody the blue-collar work ethic with the adventurous mindset of a person who’s down to live in a van. It’s intended to aid those who need little and want even less. It’s intended to allow someone to chase their dreams of being a beach volleyball player while easing the burden of such a financially burdensome task.
It’s intended to help the Road Dogs in the sport, the grinders, the ones with character and gumption, the ones who don’t wither on a match point on stadium court but live for those moments, the ones who will say yes to adventures and figure the rest out as they go.