Friends, Family Mourn V'Ball Medalist Found Dead

Investigators are still trying to determine what caused the death of a local Olympian who was found dead in a Solana Beach home on Tuesday.

Mike Whitmarsh, 46, was found unresponsive at a friend's home in Solana Beach.

"He was a really really nice guy always saying hi, always friendly," Solana Beach resident Carrington Kingsley.

Get your sports news delivered to you, sign up for sports newsletters now

Whitmarsh attended Monte Vista High. After a stint in the NBA, he began a 15-year career in professional volleyball, eventually yielding a silver medal at the 1996 Olympics. Whitmarsh was born in San Diego in 1962 and earned more than $1.6 million in his career, winning 28 titles, according to an online beach volleyball database.

Members of the Solana Beach community where Whitmarsh died were stunned.

"It looked like a movie set without the cameras," Kingsley said. "All the cops and there was a fire truck in the driveway."

Sheriff's deputies have not yet released any information about the cause of Whitmarsh's death, but they did say it does not appear foul play had any role in the death.

Whitmarsh He played basketball for University of San Diego and in the NBA for the Portland Trailblazers and Minnesota Timberwolves.

Whitmarsh teamed up with Mike Dodd to earn silver at the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games.

Just after 5 p.m. Tuesday, Whitmarsh's wife, Cindy, released the following statement:

"We are all devastated by the passing of Mike. His family, friends, teammates, and colleagues will miss him terribly. We appreciate your thoughts and prayers during this most difficult time – it means more than we can express. We ask that you respect the privacy of our family so that we may mourn our loved one."

Whitmarsh is survived by his wife and two young daughters.

Contact Us