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Dan McDonnell

Dan McDonnell playing volleyball

Dan McDonnell is a volleyball player who has been playing with the USA Menʼs Volleyball National Team since 2012. Professionally he plays in France with Tourcoing Lille Métropole and in his five professional seasons he has helped his teams win two French Championships, one French Cup, a bronze medal in the Polish Championship and one Polish Cup.

Dan went to college at UC Irvine where he was selected to the All MPSF team and helped his team win the NCAA National Championship in 2012. His high school team, Brophy College Prep, won the Arizona 5A Championship in 2007.
Dan has been transitioning to a more plant based diet over the past two years and enjoys the huge variety in his diet. His fiancée, Pauline, loves to discover delicious vegan recipes to cook and bake.


  • Plays professionally for the Tourcoing Lille Métropole in the French professional volleyball with French championships, one French Cup, a bronze medal in the Polish Championship and one Polish Cup.
  • Member the U.S. Men’s National Volleyball Team since 2012
  • Played collegiately at UC Irvine where he was selected to the All MPSF team and won the NCAA National Championship in 2012

Get To Know Me

What motivated you to pursue a healthy/balanced lifestyle?

My teammate, Dustin Watten, initially sparked my interest in learning more about eating a plant-based diet. Once I made the changes in my diet, I noticed the positive changes taking place in my body and stuck with it.

What’s your favorite guilty pleasure food?

I’m a huge sucker for chocolate. So, chocolate covered anything.

How do you like to start each day?

With a big bowl of overnight oats and a cup of coffee.

How do you like to end each day?

With a good book in bed.

Tell us a bit more about your journey with volleyball? What’s next for you?

I started in high school at Brophy College Prep. I went on to play at UCI and won a NCAA Championship under coach Speraw. I now have been playing professionally overseas and with the USA National Team for the past 5 years. Volleyball has taken me all over the world and introduced me to so many good people. Hopefully the next big thing for me is the Olympics in 2020. As far as after volleyball, I’m keeping my options open!

How do you stay motivated? Any tips for our readers?

I try to set small daily and weekly goals to help fuel my motivation. Writing them down and checking them off helps to visualize the progress I’m making. I’m also surrounded by so many hard-working teammates on the National Team who motivate me by example every day.

Why is protein such an important part of your diet?

As an athlete I’m always conscious of how much protein I’m getting every day. Especially since I’ve been focusing on a plant-based diet I want to make sure I’m replenishing, rebuilding and recovering after my hard workouts and trainings. I use protein powder in my morning oats and have two protein shakes throughout the day.

What’s your favorite Sprout Living product and Why?

My favorite product is the Drinkable Oats. We are often on the road traveling and the Drinkable Oats make the perfect and nutritious on-the-go snack.