Sato, Jackson Join U.S. Men's Team Staff

Sept. 09, 2009, 5:07 p.m. (ET)

B.J. Hoeptner Evans
Manager, Media Relations and Publications
Phone: (719) 228-6800

ANAHEIM, Calif. (Sept. 9, 2009) – USA Volleyball has announced that Dr. Gary Sato has been hired to serve as the U.S. Men’s National Volleyball Team’s assistant coach under Head Coach Alan Knipe.

Sato (Los Angeles, Calif.) is part of a U.S. Men’s staff that also includes new technical coordinator Chris Jackson (Phoenix, Ariz.) and returning athletic trainer Aaron Brock (Storm Lake, Iowa)

“I am excited that Gary has decided to rejoin the U.S. Men's National Team staff,” Knipe (Huntington Beach, Calif.) said. “His was one of the very first names that crossed my mind when I accepted the job. As a member of the 1988 and 1992 Olympic staffs, he brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to the program. I look forward to having Gary on board as we start this journey.”

Sato, who has a long history with USA Volleyball, said Knipe called him shortly after accepting the U.S. Men’s head coaching position in April. Sato and Knipe had played beach volleyball together in the 1990s. Sato has already served as the U.S. Men’s assistant coach at the 2009 FIVB World League and the 2010 FIVB World Championship Qualifier for NORCECA Group F.

“After seeing the teams perform so well at the Olympic Games in Beijing, it rekindled the fire in me,” Sato said. “The situation with the men’s program, being in Anaheim and the women moving there was similar to the circumstances when I first joined the program in 1984 (when both teams were based in San Diego).

“I’m excited to be back. I was telling people that USA Volleyball had gone green and they recycled me.”

Sato first served as an assistant coach for the U.S. Men’s Team from 1984-88, including the team that won the 1988 Olympic gold medal in Seoul. His brother, Eric, was a player on that team. He was also an assistant for the teams that won the 1986 World Championship and the 1987 Pan American Games.

Sato served as head coach for the U.S. Men’s gold-medal win at the 1985 FIVB World Cup in Japan and was voted the Most Valuable Coach of the tournament. In 1992 he returned as assistant coach for the Olympic Team that won the bronze medal.

Sato’s coaching career has included pro beach championships and he was the head coach for the U.S. beach team at the 2007 Pan American Games.

Sato played volleyball at Santa Monica High School and Santa Monica College before moving on to UC Santa Barbara, where he was an All-American outside hitter.

Sato is the eldest of six children known worldwide for their contributions to the sport. Brother Eric won the Olympic gold medal with the U.S. Men in 1988 and a bronze in 1992. Sister Liane won the Olympic bronze medal with the U.S. Women in 1992 and also played on the ’88 Olympic team. Brothers Scott (San Diego State) and Glenn (Loyola Marymount) both played college volleyball and Glenn also coached.

Sato graduated with a degree in kinesiology from Pepperdine University where he took over the head coaching position of the women's team in 1979 and held it until 1982. He has also won two NCAA National Championships as an assistant and volunteer coach with Pepperdine’s men’s volleyball teams in 1978 and 2005.

From 1989-92 Sato studied at the Southern California University of Health Sciences and graduated as a Doctor of Chiropractic.

Just prior to joining the U.S. Men’s National Team, Sato worked at Sato Chiropractic along with serving as a coach for the Santa Monica Beach Volleyball Club and as the technical director for the Sinjin Smith Volleyball Academy HAX.

Sato has three children: Andrew (15), Katie (13) and Malia (10).

As the new technical coordinator, Jackson comes to the U.S. Men’s Team from Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, where he was an assistant coach for the men’s volleyball team for one year.

Prior to that Jackson served as an assistant coach for both the men's and women's programs at USC, including being a part of the women's 2007 NCAA national tournament semifinalist team. He also served as an assistant coach for the 2008 U.S. Boys’ Youth National Team that won the NORCECA Continental Championship.

“Chris has all the skills required to be great in our technical coordinator position,” Knipe said. “He is self-motivated, organized and great with the guys. He has a solid background in Data Project software and most importantly, he knows how to grind.”

Jackson was on the coaching staff at Phoenix Brophy Prep from 2004-06, which included a state title in 2005. His 16-year old group from the Southern California Volleyball Club finished fourth in the nation.

Jackson played high school volleyball at Glendale Deer Valley in Arizona. He went on to play at Brigham Young University and was a freshman on its national championship team in 2004. He is a 2007 graduate of Arizona State University.

Athletic trainer Brock has been the U.S. Men’s Team since 2005 and was part of the staff that helped the team win gold medals at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing and the 2008 World League.

“Aaron Brock staying with the men's program was very important to me,” Knipe said. “He wears many hats for us; he is our point person for medical issues, oversees our strength and conditioning programs, and keeps our guys healthy. Aaron is very gifted at his craft and is a very valuable part of our staff.”