McCutcheon Staying Through 2012 Olympics

March 01, 2011, 2:44 p.m. (ET)

Bill Kauffman
Associate Director of Communications
Phone: 719-228-6800

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (March 1, 2011) – U.S. Women’s National Volleyball Team Head Coach Hugh McCutcheon (Christchurch, New Zealand) has agreed to remain in his current USA Volleyball position in a full-time capacity through the 2012 Olympic Games, according to USA Volleyball Chief Executive Officer Doug Beal.

McCutcheon, who has served as either the U.S. Women’s or U.S. Men’s National Volleyball Team Head Coach since 2005, accepted the University of Minnesota offer to become its head women’s volleyball coach on Feb. 10. However, he said at the time his arrival as the full-time head coach of the Minnesota program would be at a mutually agreed upon date. McCutcheon will now join the Gopher volleyball team as its full-time head coach after the 2012 Olympic Games on Sept. 1, 2012.

“I am honored to continue serving as head coach of the U.S. Women’s National Team through the 2012 Olympic Games,” McCutcheon said. “I believe this is the right decision for my family, USA Volleyball and the University of Minnesota. Once the 2012 Olympics are completed, I will invest all of my energy into the University of Minnesota's women's volleyball program. Until then, my attention will be focused on training the U.S. Women’s National Team to be the best it can be at the 2012 Olympic Games. I am extremely grateful to both USA Volleyball and the University of Minnesota Athletic Department for their complete support and understanding of this decision.”

McCutcheon, 41, has served as the head coach for the U.S. Women’s National Team for the past two seasons after leading the U.S. Men’s Olympic Team to the gold medal at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.

“We are pleased that we have been able to work out a win-win solution to allow Hugh to finish his USA Volleyball contract through the 2012 Olympic Games in London,” Beal said. “He has put together a terrific staff working with an extremely talented group of athletes who had remarkable success last season, including the gold medal at the FIVB World Grand Prix and a fourth-place finish at the FIVB World Championship. USA Volleyball appreciates the cooperation of University of Minnesota Athletic Director Joel Maturi and his athletics staff in making this a positive situation for Hugh, his family, USA Volleyball and the Gopher volleyball program.”

“The hiring of Hugh McCutcheon was made with the understanding that he was the best coach for the long-term for the University of Minnesota," said University of Minnesota Director of Athletics Joel Maturi. “From the beginning, Hugh and I have discussed the importance of his commitment to USA Volleyball and the 2012 Olympics. We are honored that Minnesota's new head coach will be representing the United States in London. Laura Bush will do an outstanding job as the interim head coach for the 2011 season and we expect our program to continue to compete at the highest level.”

Less than four months after leading the U.S. Men’s National Team to the 2008 Olympic Games gold medal, McCutcheon agreed to serve as head coach position with the U.S. Women’s National Team through the 2012 Olympic Games. Through his first two years with the U.S. Women’s National Team, He has developed a unit built around both established veterans and young players capable of competing on the international scene. The team, currently ranked second in the FIVB world ranking, has a 46-27 record in two years, despite transitioning to new techniques employed by McCutcheon and his staff. In addition, McCutcheon has brought in over 70 players into the gym for evaluation and over half have been part of an international trip representing the USA.

Last season he guided the U.S. Women’s National Team to a 28-13 record – a 10-match improvement in the victory column from his first season with squad in 2009. The U.S. claimed the silver medal at the 2010 Montreux Volley Masters and the bronze medal at the 2010 Pan American Cup in June. Using a starting lineup of two rookies and four players with less than two years of experience, the Americans earned the gold medal at the 2010 FIVB World Grand Prix, the premier annual women’s international tournament. The 2010 season was capped by a fourth-place finish at the FIVB Women’s World Championship.

“USA Volleyball just finished its largest ever U.S. Women’s National Team Open Tryouts, and the interest in the program has never been greater,” Beal said. “A lot of this success relates to how Hugh has developed the program and reached out to the college community.”