McCutcheon now USA Women's coach!

  • After Jenny "Lang" Pings departure, Hugh Mccutcheon just accepted the offer to become the new coach of USA Women's Team from 2009 to 2012. :dance6: No announcement made though on whoever will take on the Men's Team.


    COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Dec. 15, 2008) - Less than four months after leading the U.S. Men's Olympic Volleyball Team to a gold medal at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, Hugh McCutcheon (Christchurch, New Zealand) has accepted the head coach position of the U.S. Women's National Team for the 2009-2012 Olympic quadrennial, according to USA Volleyball Chief Executive Officer Doug Beal.

    "This is a great opportunity for me to further develop professionally. I'm excited by the challenges this change presents, and I'm optimistic that some of the knowledge we've acquired with the men's program can translate to the women," McCutcheon said in regards to changing roles to the U.S. Women's National Team. "There will be differences in systems and aspects of developing team culture but, at the end of the day, the fundamental principles of volleyball are not gender-specific."

    "Hugh proved throughout the past quadrennial his abilities as a great coach, motivator and program manager," Beal said. "The direction he provided allowed our men to steadily climb into position to be champions. Rarely has a team been so good so often under such intense pressure as they were in Beijing. I look forward to him bringing his talents, abilities, personality and philosophy to our women's program! USA Volleyball is indeed fortunate and pleased to be able to retain Hugh within our national team structure."

    Beal notes this is not an uncommon situation in international or professional volleyball. There are many examples of coaches moving from one gender to the other, most notably Jose Roberto Guimaraes (Ze Roberto), who led the Brazilian men's team to the gold medal at the 1992 Olympic Games, and matched that success by leading the Brazilian women to the gold medal in Beijing.

    "Successful coaches are successful coaches," Beal said. "I have every confidence that Hugh can learn the differences that surely exist between genders and apply his philosophy to our women's team in a positive way."

    Lindsey Berg (Honolulu), a two-time Olympian with the U.S. Women's National Team and silver medalist at the 2008 Olympic Games, described McCutcheon as a great fit for the program.

    "Personally, I am absolutely thrilled Hugh has accepted the position to lead our team," Berg said. "He will be able to help us take a huge step forward in making change within our program in a very positive way. This will be a great opportunity for our team to work under a different set of philosophies. Hugh will be able to bring in fresh and new ideas for us to build upon by bringing in aspects from the men's game, including how we train and compete on the court. Overall, this is a great coaching move and change for our program, and it is going to be exciting."

    As the head coach of the U.S. Men's National Team at the 2008 Olympic Games, McCutcheon, 39, and Team USA went undefeated in Beijing to claim its third Olympic Games gold medal and its first podium finish since 1992. He leaves the U.S. Men's National Team program with a 107-33 overall record in four years and Team USA ranked second in the current FIVB World Ranking, its highest ranking ever.

    The U.S. enjoyed one of its best seasons ever in 2008 under McCutcheon's guidance as the team won all three of its major tournaments of the year. Team USA secured its first-ever FIVB World League championship in July 2008 after a bronze medal finish in the same event in 2007, the first time the Americans earned back-to-back medals in the annual event. The U.S. started the 2008 campaign in dominating fashion by sweeping all five matches at the NORCECA Men's Continental Olympic Qualifier to earn its berth in the 2008 Olympics.

    "(Hugh) meant everything to our team," U.S. Men's National Team libero Rich Lambourne (Tustin, Calif.) said. "He was the mastermind of what we were trying to do. He was the one who clearly focused our goal and got it written down and set out a plan for how to get us there. In 2005, when we started the quad, the idea that we would be gold medalists was pretty comical. It seemed so far away. It's a huge credit to him that he kept us on that track and had in mind a way to actually accomplish that."

    McCutcheon, hired as an assistant coach for the U.S. Men's National Team in April 2003, assisted the Americans to a fourth-place finish at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens after the squad failed to win a single match at the 2000 Olympic Games. He was elevated to head coach of the U.S. Men's National Team in February 2005 after Beal moved from his coaching role into the position of CEO.

    The U.S. Women's National Team also enjoyed remarkable success at the 2008 Olympic Games under head coach "Jenny" Lang Ping, who elected not to seek a contract renewal for the upcoming quadrennial. Using a roster of eight Olympic Games veterans, Team USA earned its first medal since the 1992 Olympic Games and finished with the silver medal falling to top-ranked Brazil in the championship match. The U.S. finished second in its group including a victory over host China, then went on to defeat second-ranked Italy in the quarterfinals and third-ranked Cuba in the semifinals. The Americans were the only team to take a set away from Brazil throughout the Olympics.

    "Jenny proved once again why she ranks among the very top of the elite international coaches by leading the U.S. Women to the Olympic Games silver medal in her home country under very difficult conditions," Beal said. "She deserves a huge amount of credit for the team's medal performance."

    Beal indicated that now is the time to build the sport across a broad range of platforms based on the achievements earned during the 2008 Olympics.

    "The objective for all USA Volleyball programs is to maintain the remarkable success from Beijing, while at the same time, working to grow the profile of our sport as significantly and widely as possible," Beal said. "This will be very challenging as both the U.S. and the world head into a period of uncertain economic times. Hugh is very aware of our goals as an organization, and I am confident that in his new role, he will be in a position to contribute to them significantly."

    McCutcheon was not a stranger to USA Volleyball prior to landing his first job with the U.S. Men's National Team. He served as a volunteer assistant coach for the men's national team helping out during the 2001 FIVB World League, the 2002 FIVB World Championship and five international tours. He has also served as the head coach of the U.S. Boys' Youth National Team in 2000 and 2001.

    According to Beal, USA Volleyball does not have a set timetable to fill the now-vacated U.S. Men's National Team head coach position other than taking the necessary time to find the most qualified person.

    "[size=8]It's years and years of work and sacrifice and dedication. Along with a lot of these girls, we've sweat and we've bled and we've cried together in past Olympics. It just brought tears to my eyes, & I'm more than thrilled. This will be forever." -LOGAN MAILE LEI TOM (Silver Medallist - 2008 Beijing & 2012 London Olympic Games, 2011 World Cup runner up, 2003 & 2007 World Cup 3rd place, 2002 World Champs runner up, 4-time World GrandPrix Champs)

  • It's very bad news for Polish volleyball. We believed that he will be our coach. Of course male team.

  • DEfinelty..I good news for Female team from USa...and bad news for Poland!

    I think is good first..cause he can be a hand to help players in decision of staying...
    Ithink now..Logan...and others...can think of staying!!!!

  • I think it's very good news for Poland :) He won OG championship mostly because of great players

  • I wanted him as a coach of our NT, but I didn't believe, it would happen. I'm not surprised.

    The most important 3:

    5th place - Prediction Game - World League 2011 :D

  • He won OG championship mostly because of great players

    Yes, but not exactly. We have to remember, that US team is very experienced. The same players played several competitions and didn't achieve such a success. McCuttcheon made them do that.

    The most important 3:

    5th place - Prediction Game - World League 2011 :D

  • I think he's a great coach and will do great for the US National Team.
    Maybe it's good for Poland too - I think a coach for its team should at least speak Polish. I know it's a bit stupid to say that, but I think that the players can even feel better not having to listen to a translator or to have to guess what the coach's saying...

    I'm just wondering what would happen if he put Wiz (his wife) in a roster.

  • Kiraly Named U.S. Women's Assistant
    Karch Kiraly (San Clemente, Calif.), the most decorated player in the history of volleyball and an international legend – both indoor and on the beach – has been named an assistant coach of the U.S. Women’s National Volleyball Team.

    U.S. Women’s National Volleyball Team Head Coach Hugh McCutcheon (Christchurch, New Zealand) hired Kiraly as an assistant coach for the program which won the 2008 Olympic Games silver medal in Beijing. Along with McCutcheon, he joins a staff that also includes assistant coach/technical coordinator Jamie Morrison (Dana Point, Calif.) and athletic trainer Jill Wosmek.

    “We all know how great Karch was as a player, and I strongly believe that he will have similar success in this game as a coach,” McCutcheon said. “His addition to our staff is a huge boon for this program. His knowledge, experience and drive will be invaluable.”

    Kiraly, 48, has been recognized by many as the greatest volleyball player ever. The Federation Internationale de Volleyball (FIVB) named him as the greatest men’s volleyball player of the sports first century. Kiraly is the only volleyball player –male or female – to win Olympic Games gold medals in both the indoor and beach volleyball disciplines. Further, he is the first volleyball player – and one of only two ever – to win three gold medals in the sport. He is a 2001 inductee into the Volleyball Hall of Fame and a 2008 inductee into the United States Olympic Committee Hall of Fame.

    “Two things intrigue me most about this position; the first is the opportunity to work under Coach McCutcheon, one of – if not THE – best coaching minds on the planet,” Kiraly said. “The second is the phenomenal potential that exists on the women’s side of American volleyball. High school and club volleyball for women are so advanced in popularity and skill level here in the United States. College volleyball has an NCAA Tournament of 64 teams for its own version of March Madness, along with hundreds of outstanding players.”

    USA Volleyball Chief Executive Officer Doug Beal, who served as the head coach of the Kiraly-led 1984 U.S. Olympic team that won the gold medal, views the pairing of McCutcheon with Kiraly as an exciting synergy of volleyball individuals for the U.S. Women’s National Team and the sport.

    “By having Karch join Hugh’s staff brings about an exciting time for the U.S. Women’s National Team and USA Volleyball,” Beal said. “Both have long-term potential of being not only great coaches, but being wonderful volleyball ambassadors with ancillary benefits to all areas of our sport on this very expanded platform as U.S. Women’s National Team coaches. I’m positive that Karch will bring to this position the same qualities that made him so great on the court and on the sand – a unique focus, a total commitment to excellence and an unswerving drive to be the best and make everyone around him the best.”

    While both McCutcheon and Kiraly are new to coaching elite women’s volleyball at the international level, Kiraly does not envision this as a problem but possibly even a positive for the program.

    “I think Hugh, Jamie (Morrison) and I have a real advantage having taken paths here from outside the college game,” Kiraly said. “One of our goals is to build stronger ties with the Olympic feeder system – NCAA college volleyball – and it’s probably easier to do that with no prior college history.”

    It is not uncommon for iconic sporting figures to get into coaching their chosen sport once their playing days are over. McCutcheon sees a lot of transfer between the skills Kiraly had as a player, and the qualities he will bring as a coach.

    “Karch had many strengths on the court, one of which was his ability to make those around him better,” McCutcheon said. “This skill is clearly a core competency of successful coaches. I also believe Karch’s playing abilities in the non-point scoring aspects of the game – serve reception, floor defense, coverage and setting – make him a great fit for our program.”

    As a player, Kiraly led the U.S. Men’s Team to an unprecedented string of championships including the famed “Triple Crown of Volleyball” consisting of gold medals at the 1984 Olympic Games, the 1985 FIVB World Cup and the 1986 FIVB World Championship. Kiraly also captained the U.S. Men’s Team to their second consecutive gold medal at the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul. The FIVB also named him “Best Player in the World in 1986 and 1988.

    After years of dominating the game on the hard court indoors, Kiraly returned to the sand and became equally dominant in beach volleyball. He and partner Kent Steffes captured the 1996 Olympic Games gold medal in beach volleyball as the sport made its Olympic debut in Atlanta.

    Before retiring at the end of 2007, Kiraly had won 148 beach volleyball tournaments (144 domestic, 3 FIVB international events), more than any other player in history. He won at least one tournament in 24 of his 27 seasons of playing beach volleyball, claiming titles with 13 different partners during his four-decade long career. Kiraly was named the AVP (Association of Volleyball Professionals) Most Valuable Player six times.

    Kiraly now lives in San Clemente, Calif., with his wife, Janna, and sons Kristian and Kory.

    USA Volleyball and the City of Anaheim are currently negotiating to have the U.S. Women’s National Team train in Anaheim in a similar arrangement as with the U.S. Men’s National Team that won the 2008 Olympic Games gold medal in Beijing. Once the deal is finalized, Anaheim will be designated as the Official Host City for the U.S. Men’s and Women’s National Volleyball Teams through the 2016 Olympic Games. The U.S. Women’s National Team will join the U.S. Men’s National Team in training at the American Sports Centers in Anaheim, Calif.


  • I'm not really comfortable with Kiraly joining the women's NT staff with McCutcheon as coach. I don't know, it's just my intuition I guess. Hope everything will be smooth with the NT in four years.

  • I echo the same concern Gael. There's no denying that Karch is one of the -- if not THE-- best player who has played the sport. Yet his achievements as a player doesn't necessarily correlate to as good coaching (Lang Ping though changes my mind :lol:). However, if there's something that we should be glad about, Karch had an amazing defense when he was still playing. So Karch's defense + Hugh's Tactics in defense(Salmon,Priddy) may result to success in the women's team which is obviously plagued with poor or subpar defense.

    Okay, speaking of the women's team, there's no news yet about players who are retiring from the sport. Those who are planning to may have changed their minds since there's been a talk (and its almost sure now -- i guess) that the training facility will be moved to Southern California (where the men's team train). This does not only favor location but also for their sea-level training as well (Colorado Springs is in High Altitude).

    "[size=8]It's years and years of work and sacrifice and dedication. Along with a lot of these girls, we've sweat and we've bled and we've cried together in past Olympics. It just brought tears to my eyes, & I'm more than thrilled. This will be forever." -LOGAN MAILE LEI TOM (Silver Medallist - 2008 Beijing & 2012 London Olympic Games, 2011 World Cup runner up, 2003 & 2007 World Cup 3rd place, 2002 World Champs runner up, 4-time World GrandPrix Champs)

  • Thats good news. The US women's team has suffered from poor reception in their 2nd OH position. Despite being under Lang Ping, one of the best technical coaches out there, both Glass and Namani still struggled passing at a NT level. I don't know if either Karch or Hugh can fix this problem... both Glass and Namani seem to be meant to play as attackers before passers. If Tom leaves, this problem will become a major issue (no idea if this is happening). Hooker and various other NCAA talents do have better passing then Glass though. Anyways, she got torn apart during the 08 Beijing games. Brazil's tactical serving solely targeted Glass that game.
    Karch is also a hothead... I don't often see assistant coaches getting carded, but it will probably happen soon with Karch as assistant head coach haha :whistle:

  • I think if they work together...they can become the best staff in female volleyball!!!!!!Dont see anyone better tehn they!!!!!

    If it was male..I would say would be a great "fight" against Bernadinho staff...hehehehe....well...would continium being....since it was lasts years...hehe

  • My concern about Kiraly is not much about his coaching ability but his personality. I heard that he was described as abrasive by some. So I don't know if they could work together with Hugh. I agree that they got Kiraly probably because of his knowledge on defense. And also I think they got him now becuase they are moving to Southern Cali and Kiraly would not travel that much.

    Regarding the defense of Glass and Nnamani, I'm not sure the coaches can have a significant impact on their defensive capabilities - well probably Glass can improve but Ogonna is kinda hopeless at this point. The two players play pro overseas and they will probably change teams for the next 3 years and probably change coaches so I think Kiraly and Hugh cannot do much to improve the skill set of the two. Most likely they will focus on the team strategy and team play to compensate for the lack of individual skills - hopefully as Lang Ping did. :)

  • There are alot of up and coming NCAA stars that have better defensive capabilities then Glass and Namani. Look to see Destinee Hooker in the near future. Plus the US team needs more then just Logan Tom to run the pipe - that is one of the advantages of the Brazillian team that pays large dividens. Having Shiella, Mari, Paula, and Jacquelin all able to hit a deadly pipe attack at such a fast speed makes it impossible to defend.

  • I've watched a few vids of Destinee and also the semis with Stanford. From what I saw, her defense is questionable in terms of the international game. This for sure I know, she can really jump. ;)