U.S. Paralympics

U.S. Paralympics

Feb. 09, 2010, 4:35 p.m. (ET)

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – USA Volleyball has hired Edgar Miraku as the head coach of the U.S. Men’s Sitting Volleyball Team, which is based at the University of Central Oklahoma (UCO).
 
Miraku takes over as head coach from Bill Hamiter, who was named head coach and high performance director for the U.S. Sitting Volleyball Teams in June 2009. Hamiter will continue to serve as the head coach of the U.S. Women’s Sitting Volleyball Team.
 
“I am excited about this new opportunity with USA Volleyball and look forward to working with the team and representing our country in future international competitions,” Miraku said.
 
Miraku, a native of Albania, became the U.S. Men’s Sitting Team assistant coach in 2005. He said he was drawn to the sport by his love of volleyball, which he started playing when he was 6, combined with the ability to help people with disabilities.
 
“It combines volleyball with a great cause,” Miraku said. “It’s challenging. It involves everything that standing volleyball has plus more.”
 
“I think it’s going to be a good progression,” Hamiter said. “Not only is he a very fine coach, but he grew up in Albania and he has international volleyball experience.”
 
Miraku was a member of the Albanian Junior National team from 1992-95. He also played in Albania’s professional league for the Elbasan and Studenti Teams from 1991-95.
 
He moved to the United States for his education and received his Bachelor of Business Administration/International Trade from UCO in 1998. In 2000, he got his MBA in international business from UCO.
 
He has served as the head volleyball coach for Edmond Memorial High School since 2005, leading it to three state championships. He also serves as a coach for Oklahoma Peak Performance Volleyball Club and led its 16-1 team to third place at the 2009 Girls’ Junior National Championship in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. He has been CAP I and IMPACT certified by USA Volleyball.
 
In his life outside of volleyball, Miraku has served as the director of IT/manager of applications and information services for BancInsure, Inc., since 2005.
 
The U.S. Men’s Sitting Team has a busy schedule set for 2010. On March 6-8 it will compete against Brazil and Canada at the Parapan American Championships in Denver. On March 19-26, it will travel to Egypt for a sitting volleyball World Cup and on July 11-18 it will compete at the Sitting Volleyball World Championship at its home base of UCO in Edmond, Okla.
The top three finishers at the World Championship will qualify for the 2012 Paralympic Games in London. The U.S. Men’s Sitting Team missed out on qualifying for the 2008 Paralympic Games when it lost to Brazil in the gold medal match of the 2007 Parapan American Games.
 
“We’re looking forward to playing Brazil again (in Denver),” Miraku said. “We’re also looking forward to getting more matches under our belts. It’s always hard to get enough matches.”
 
Edgar lives in Edmond with his wife, Amy, and children Abiana and Arden.

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