Manager, Media Relations and Publications
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (March 7, 2009) - U.S. Women's National Team Head Volleyball Coach Hugh McCutcheon (Christchurch, New Zealand) announced today the hiring of Jamie Morrison (Dana Point, Calif.) as the team's assistant coach/technical coordinator, a similar role he held with the 2008 Olympic Games gold-medal winning U.S. Men's National Volleyball Team.
For the 2005-2008 Olympic Games quadrennial, Morrison was part of McCutcheon's U.S. Men's National Team staff that guided the Americans to the 2008 Olympic Games gold medal in inspiring fashion. Team USA defeated Brazil in four sets in the championship match and progressed through the Olympic Games without losing a match.
"I am extremely excited, honored and thankful to be a part of the U.S. Women's National Team and have the opportunity to coach some of the greatest athletes in the world," Morrison said. "Hugh and I have worked closely over the past four years and I have the utmost respect for him as a coach, mentor and friend. I am thrilled to join him in this new venture and I would like to thank him for giving me this opportunity."
"Jamie's hire is huge for our program," said McCutcheon, who accepted the U.S. Women's National Team Head Coach position in December 2008. "He will allow us to hit the ground running from an organizational perspective, and we also retain one of the best young coaches in the country. Jamie has wonderful quantitative and analytical abilities, and he sees the game very well. I could not be happier."
Morrison was responsible for match video analysis and statistics with the U.S. Men's National Team and implementing the data into training session plans and match-time decisions. He was also charged with creating technological advances to aid in training, scouting and overall team functionality.
In addition to the 2008 Olympic Games gold medal, the U.S. Men's National Team won its first-ever FIVB World League title in 2008. As a result, the United States Olympic Committee selected the squad as its Team of the Year for 2008.
The U.S. Men's National Team compiled a 107-33 record in major international competitions during Morrison's tenure on staff. Among other major team accomplishments in the past four years have been gold medals at the 2008 NORCECA Continental Olympic Qualification Tournament, 2006 and 2008 Pan American Cup, 2007 NORCECA Continental Championship and 2005 and 2007 America's Cup. Team USA also won the silver at the 2007 Pan American Games and the bronze at the 2007 FIVB World League Finals.
"The last four years were a learning process for both the players and coaching staff," Morrison said. "The lessons learned in the process of qualifying and while at the Olympics are invaluable going forward into the next quadrennial."
"Jamie has been a tremendous asset providing technical support and coaching knowledge to our Men's National Team over the past four years," USA Volleyball Chief Executive Director Doug Beal said. "He will certainly provide Hugh with great staff continuity and level of comfort in his own transition to the women's team."
Both McCutcheon and Morrison will be making the transition from the men's international game. However, Morrison does not view this as a hindrance to the coaching of the U.S. Women's National Team.
"I believe some of the knowledge we have gained over the past four years will translate to the women's game and aid in taking the Women's National Team to the next level," Morrison said. "At the same time, I fully understand that there are subtle differences in the game as well as culture, and I am excited to learn and grow."
Morrison is not totally unfamiliar with women's volleyball. He spent one season as an assistant coach at the University of Southern California working with both the men's and women's volleyball programs immediately before his tenure with the U.S. Men's National Team. He assisted the Women of Troy to the semifinal round of the NCAA Division I Volleyball Championship in 2004. Morrison also was an assistant coach at Concordia University Irvine, under the direction of then-head coach Paula Weishoff, for two seasons and assisted the Eagles to a NAIA National Tournament championship match appearance and runner-up finish in 2008.
Prior to working at USC, Morrison served three years as an assistant and volunteer assistant coach with both the men's and women's volleyball programs at UC Santa Barbara. As an undergraduate at UC Santa Barbara, he competed on the school's club volleyball team and worked various Gaucho volleyball camps.
Morrison, who also interned in the San Francisco 49ers public relations department, earned his bachelor's degree in business economics from UC Santa Barbara in 2002 with an emphasis in accounting and a minor in sports management. He prepped at Dana Hills High School where he played volleyball and basketball.