Patty Dowdell played on the U.S. National Team from 1974-1980 and served as captain from 1976-1980.
She also played Major League Volleyball from 1987-1989 for the Dallas Belles and the Chicago Breeze.
After her playing career she spent six years as the assistant volleyball coach at the University of Iowa followed by seven years as head coach of the volleyball team at Texas Women's University.
Patty is said to have been the first American woman recognized as a versatile, all around player.
Not only could she pass and play defense, she dominated at the net and, besides being able to hit with both power and finesse, she was a tremendous blocker.
Her career highlights include USA Volleyball's First Team All American honors eight times (1973,1976,1977,1978,1982,1986,1992 and 1994), and second team honors four times. She was the USA Volleyball's MVP in 1978 and 1994, and played on USA National Championship Teams in 1976, 1978, 1991, 1992, 1993, and 1994, and runner-up teams in 1982 and 1987.
In 1988, she received the USA Volleyball's "All Time Great Player" award. Patty was also recognized by the Volleyball Hall of Fame's "Court of Honor" as part of the 1980 U.S. Olympic Team.
A native of Houston, Texas, Patty earned a bachelor's degree in biology from the Texas Lutheran College in 1982 and completed a master's degree in physical education at DePauw University in 1987.