The FIVB’s Best Player Of The Century is now the new coach of USA Women’s National Team…
USA Volleyball CEO Doug Beal has released this statement for Hugh McCutcheon’s successor:
“It is hard for me to define how excited I am that Karch has agreed to become our next U.S. Women’s National Volleyball Team coach. I have often heard him compared to Michael Jordan as a dominant performer and personality. It is extremely rare that someone who was so talented and successful on the court can successfully make the transition to that same level in the coaching world. Karch is unique and USA Volleyball is fortunate and lucky to have him to continue the leadership of our National Team program.
I am confident Karch will represent USA Volleyball, USA and our sport in the most positive way possible and help us elevate the sport and the USA Women’s Team to levels we have not seen. It is pretty hard to follow the success of our past two Olympics, but no one is in a better situation to do so than Karch. I have worked with Karch at many levels, and I am never ceased to be amazed by his abilities, his accomplishments and his drive. Part of my excitement is anticipating what he can do for our USA Women’s Team.
We have had some of the most remarkable coaches in the world leading our two National Team. I am confident Karch will continue that tradition, legacy and level of success. His passion for the sport, his work ethic, his leadership and competitiveness is almost unmatchable. What is perhaps his most unique ability is being able to relate to each individual member of the team and transfer his knowledge, insight and his support making each of them better and the team stronger.”
From Coach McCutcheon, who is now coaching at University of Minnesota:
“I could not be happier with USA Volleyball’s decision to select Karch as the head coach of the USA Women’s National Volleyball Team. He’s a great man and a wonderful volleyball coach – this is a fantastic hire.”
From two time Olympic silver medalist, Lindsey Berg:
“I think it is an incredible decision by USA Volleyball, it is the best decision they could have made. Having a coach who already knows the core group who will return for the next quad and has the respect from the group and became a big part of our team is a great way to start the quad going for gold in the next Olympics. The experiences that he has gone through, you can’t replace those or ignore every experience in volleyball that he has been involved. To bring that as a coach and be able to relate to players, and know how to communicate these experiences and how to teach them so everyone else will have those experiences is amazing. He is a great technical coach who has been through it all. He is a good game coach and really knows how to talk to us. I think he is going to be so successful and I am so excited for him.”
From Nicole Davis, who has won 2 Olympic silvers:
“I am really happy that Karch has accepted the position as I think it is a great decision on a lot of levels. Most importantly I think it is great for the continuity of the program on building what has been accomplished over the last four years. Karch was in the gym the past four years learning from a great coach in Hugh (McCutcheon). Karch is a genuinely liked person and he is the type of guy you want to go to battle with. He is already a leader in our gym. I have learned a lot from Karch on the game and how to compete. I think he is a really good fit for the program.”
And now the words from the new coach…
Coach Karch Kiraly
“I have revered representing the USA and wearing the Red, White and Blue ever since my first experience with the Junior National Team at 16 years old. It is a tremendous honor to be asked to lead such a powerful volleyball program, and I am thrilled to be able to carry forward the effort expended by this hard-working and talented group of athletes – an effort led by my mentor and friend, previous (U.S. Women’s National Volleyball Team) Head Coach Hugh McCutcheon, and his staff.
“I’m attracted to coach the USA Women’s Team for many reasons: first, we have a group of athletes dedicated to fierce effort, to improvement and to redefining what’s possible on a volleyball court. Another appeal is the daily process of a group of people – athletes and staff – striving to be one team, and to being the best team we can be, with the hope that our best might be THE best. A third draw is the strong trajectory the program is already on, with consistent success and numerous podium finishes the last 5 years.
This program has such a history of high performance and accomplished so much, including three Olympic Games silver medals … yet is has never won a Triple Crown Event: a World Championships, a World Cup or an Olympics. At some point, the USA Women will change that, and I yearn to help in that effort.
I spent much of the last quad focusing on the task at hand, trying to be the best team we could be, especially in London,” Kiraly said. “But as Hugh’s departure drew near, I became thoroughly convinced and excited about carrying this work forward.”
My foundational principles were established decades ago, having had the opportunity to play for and work with many of the best coaches in the history of this sport: the short list includes Rick Olmstead, Al Scates, Doug Beal, Bill Neville, Marv Dunphy and more recently Hugh McCutcheon. I lived my athletic career with these principles as my guide, and continue to adhere to them as a volleyball teacher and coach. They are: Mastery of Fundamentals, Relentless Preparation, Elevating the Play of Those Around Us, and Ferocious Competition.”
Aside from the prestigious award the FIVB has given him, Coach KK has accomplished the following:
1988 Olympics (Gold)
- Team captain
- Team MVP
- 137 kills, 16 block stuffs, 15 block assists, 60 percent kill percentage
1987 Pan American Games (Gold)
1986 World Championship (Gold)
- All-tournament honors
- Named “World’s Best Volleyball Player” by FIVB President Ruben Acosta
1985 World Cup (Gold)
1985 NORCECA (Gold)
1985 Appointed Team Captain of National Team
1984 Olympics (Gold)
- Outside/swing hitter
- Youngest player on team (23)
- Played in all games (19), more than any other player
- FIVB Sportsmanship Award
- Connected on 74 of 158 spike attempts
1983 NORCECA (Gold)
1981 NORCECA (silver)
1982 NCAA Championship (1st)
1981 NCAA Championship (1st)
1980 NCAA Championship (2nd)
1979 NCAA Championship (1st)
124-5 in Matches during 4 years
1977-1979 U.S. Men’s Junior National Team
1979 World University Games
- Starting setter
1979 Pacific Rim Tournament (1st)
1978 Pacific Rim Tournament (1st)
1977 Pacific Rim Tournament
1976-1978 Santa Barbara High School
- 1978 State MVP (CIF)
- Won 83 straight matches
- Undefeated in senior season
Gold Medal at the 1996 Olympic Games with Kent Steffes
U.S. domestic tournaments: 1st (144 times) $3,114,998
FIVB international tournaments: 1st (3 times) $83,750
AVP Best Defensive Player 2002
AVP Best Offensive Player 1990, 1993, 1994
AVP Comeback Player of the Year 1997
AVP Miller Lite Cup Champion 1996
AVP Most Inspirational 1998
AVP Most Valuable Player 1990, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1998
AVP Outstanding Achievement 2004
AVP Special Achievement 2002
AVP Sportsman of the Year 1995, 1997, 1998
AVP Team of the Year 2004 (Mike Lambert)
We wonder if we ever get to see him wear his “pink hat” trademark.
Come on Coach! Wear it again for one last time!
On behalf of everyone…
Congratulations to Coach Karch Kiraly!
Will he finally lead the women’s team to its first ever Olympic Gold Medal in Rio 2016?
Let’ wait and see!
On the other hand, we wonder who’s going to coach the MEN’S TEAM?
(source: USAV/ images: zimbio.com & sikids.com)