Manager, Media Relations and Publications
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Dec. 14, 2010) – U.S. Women’s National Volleyball Team Head Coach Hugh McCutcheon (Christchurch, New Zealand) announced today that he has added Paula Weishoff to his coaching staff as an assistant coach. She formally starts with the U.S. Women’s National Team on May 1 and will remain in the role through the 2012 Olympic Games.
“We are very excited to have Paula join our staff,” McCutcheon said. “She is a wonderful volleyball coach and we expect her knowledge and experience to be invaluable. We could not have hired a better person for this job.”
Weishoff (Huntington Beach, Calif.), a three-time Olympian for the U.S. Women’s National Team, will continue to serve as head women’s volleyball coach at the University of California, Irvine while holding her National Team position. Weishoff recently completed her second year as head coach at UC Irvine this fall.
“The chance to be able to work with Hugh, Karch (Kiraly), Jamie (Morrison), the rest of the USA Volleyball staff and players is an incredible opportunity,” Weishoff said. “When Hugh came to me and asked if I wanted to come help coach the U.S. Women’s National Team, I thought ‘Wow, what a privilege.’ It is a chance to maybe go and coach at an Olympics. I have played at the Olympics, but I have not coached at an Olympics.”
Weishoff put much thought into the decision before taking on the extra coaching role outside of the UC Irvine athletic department. Before accepting her larger role with the U.S. Women’s National Team, she first wanted the blessing of her supervisors at UC Irvine.
“The fact my athletic director was so supportive of this whole decision and being 100 percent on board helped make the decision easier,” Weishoff said. “The athletic administration here thinks it can only one, help the sport of volleyball and two, the sport of volleyball here at UCI. Many other athletic directors may have hesitated because of the effect it would have on our team. So the ability to coach both is kind of a unique situation.”
“We are excited that Paula has this opportunity,” UC Irvine Athletic Director Mike Izzi said. “We have several head coaches working with U.S. National teams and I think the knowledge that they gain working with these elite athletes and coaches not only make them better coaches, but benefits our program as well.”
John Speraw, the head men’s volleyball coach at UC Irvine, held a similar dual role as an assistant coach with the U.S. Men’s National Team and helped the squad to a gold medal at the 2008 Olympic Games.
Courtesy of FIVB “We are delighted to welcome Paula to our National Team staff as she will be a tremendous asset to the team, not only because of her remarkable playing career, but also her experience and success as a coach at all levels,” USA Volleyball Chief Executive Officer Doug Beal said. “She has already spent a significant amount of time with Hugh, (assistant coach) Karch Kiraly and the team during the first two years of the quadrennial, so I envision this as a seamless transition in 2011 as the team works toward qualification for the 2012 Olympic Games.”
Weishoff states that she is fortunate that everyone involved is willing to work with the dual role, one that keeps her a part of the UC Irvine staff while assisting with the U.S. Women’s National Team.
“I think it is important that people know that I am still part of the UCI staff, and I am not leaving the team to go on just a volleyball trip,” Weishoff said. “This is something that has been planned. We have talked with the players, Doug Beal, Mike Izzi and the rest of my administration. Everyone is willing to make this happen. In that sense, I am lucky everyone is on board.”
Despite doubling up the workload, Weishoff is prepared for the extra hours to handle both roles.
Weishoff is no stranger to the U.S. Women’s National Team and High Performance pipeline. She served as an assistant coach with Team USA this past fall while the squad finished fourth at the FIVB World Championship. Last year Weishoff served as an assistant coach for the 2009 Pan American Cup team.
Photo courtesy FIVB As a respected coach within the USA Volleyball High Performance pipeline, Weishoff led the U.S. Women’s Junior National Team to the gold medal at the 2008 NORCECA Women’s Junior Continental Championship, which qualified Team USA into the 2009 FIVB World Championship. She also led U.S. squad at the U.S. Women’s Junior National Team at the 2009 FIVB Women’s Junior Continental Championship held in Mexico. Weishoff has served as the U.S. Women’s A2 Team head coach in 2003 and 2007.
“Whether it’s coaching at a camp or with the U.S. Women’s Junior National Team at the FIVB World Championship, Paula has been a driving force behind the success of our National High Performance program over the past 10 years,” said Tom Pingel, managing director of USA Volleyball’s Indoor High Performance Department. “As her influence and input continues at the High Performance level, it’s only fitting that she will also add the USA Women’s National Team to her already impressive coaching resume.”
At UC Irvine, Weishoff helped guide the Anteaters to a 22-8 overall record in her first season in 2009, along with an 11-5 record in the Big West Conference. UC Irvine narrowly missed receiving a berth in to the 2009 NCAA Division I Women’s Volleyball Championship tournament as an at-large team. UC Irvine garnered two American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) All-America honorable mention selections in Weishoff’s first year, marking the first time in school history the Anteaters had multiple All-Americans in the same season.
Prior to accepting the UC Irvine position, Weishoff posted 146 victories in five seasons as the head coach at Concordia University, Irvine. She was tabbed as the 2008 AVCA NAIA National Coach of the Year after the Eagles reached the championship match before falling to Fresno Pacific University to conclude the year with a 31-6 record. Weishoff guided Concordia to the NAIA national finals twice and the semifinals on two other occasions.
Weishoff, a 1998 Volleyball Hall of Fame inductee, was named to USA Volleyball's 1978-2002 All-Era Team. To many, Weishoff is regarded as one of the greatest female athletes in the history of the sport and certainly one of her generation’s most dominant middle blockers and servers. Weishoff is the only two-time U.S. Olympic medalist in women’s indoor volleyball, having won the silver medal at the 1984 Olympic Games, and the bronze in the 1992 Olympic Games. She played on the 1996 U.S. Olympic Games Team in Atlanta.