Past U.S. Women's National Team Head Coach (2009-2012)
(2005-2008 was U.S. Men's Head Coach)
Hometown: Christchurch, New Zealand
Resides: Irvine, Calif.
Record: 106-39 Women (4 years) / 107-33 Men (4 years)
Family: Wife is Elisabeth "Wiz" Bachman McCutcheon
College: Brigham Young University (Bachelors in physical education in 1993, master's in exercise science in 1998, MBA in 1999)
Hugh McCutcheon mentored the No. 1 U.S. Women’s National Volleyball Team to a 106-39 record in his four years after leading the U.S. Men’s National Volleyball Team program to the 2008 Olympic Games gold medal. Counting his 107-33 record leading the U.S. Men’s program from 2005 to 2008, McCutcheon holds a combined record of 213-72 with USA Volleyball.
In his final three seasons with the women’s program, McCutcheon guided the U.S. to an 88-25 record with podium finishes in 10 of 12 tournaments. In 2012, Team USA captured its second consecutive Olympic Games silver medal with a 7-1 record. In addition, the U.S. captured FIVB World Grand Prix gold medal for the third consecutive year. Team USA was 14-0 in the 2012 edition, including victories over Olympic Games bound Brazil twice (No. 2 in the world), Italy (No. 4), China (No. 5), Serbia (No. 6), Dominican Republic (No. 9) and Turkey (No. 11.).
The U.S. finished the 2011 season with a 39-10 record, highlighted by picking up the silver medal at the FIVB World Cup, winning its second consecutive FIVB World Grand Prix title, capturing the NORCECA Women’s Continental Championship and earning the bronze medal at the Pan American Cup. Team USA knocked off Brazil twice in 2011, along with three wins over World Cup champion Italy and two wins over China.
The U.S., currently ranked No. 1 in the world after over-taking Brazil in November of 2011, finished the 2011 season with a 39-10 record. Among the team’s highlights were picking up the silver medal at the FIVB World Cup, their second consecutive FIVB World Grand Prix title, capturing the NORCECA Women’s Continental Championship and winning the bronze medal at the Pan American Cup. Destinee Hooker captured the FIVB World Grand Prix most valuable player award, marking the second different American player to take the honor in consecutive seasons. Team USA knocked off Brazil twice in 2011, along with three wins over World Cup champion Italy and two wins over China (seven wins over 2012 Olympic Games qualified teams). Overall, the U.S. scored an 11-match victory improvement over 2010 and a 21-victory improvement from two years ago.
Team USA finished the 2010 season with a 28-13 record – a 10-match improvement in the victory column from last season. The U.S. claimed the silver medal at the Montreux Volley Masters and the bronze at the Pan American Cup in June 2010. Using a starting lineup of two rookies and four players with less than two years experience, the Americans earned the 2010 FIVB World Grand Prix gold medal. Foluke Akinradewo was named the 2010 FIVB World Grand Prix most valuable player. The 2010 season was capped by a fourth-place finish at the FIVB World Championship.
Through his four years, McCutcheon developed a unit built around both established veterans and young players capable of competing on the international scene. He brought in over 70 players into the gym for evaluation and over half have been part of an international trip representing the USA.
In his first year leading the squad, McCutcheon was able to evaluate 30 players in international competitions along with training several other players who were new or returning to the program after an absence. With the mix of youth and veterans, Team USA finished 2009 with an 18-14 record and provided vast experience for a young roster. During the year, McCutcheon also took on the role of spokesperson for Human Options, which aims to create awareness of domestic violence.
The squad qualified for the 2010 FIVB World Grand Prix and 2010 FIVB World Championship based on results in 2009. The U.S. won the FIVB World Championship – NORCECA Group G third-round pool to advance to the 2010 FIVB World Championship. It also placed fourth at the Pan American Cup held June 26-July 4 at Miami with several newcomers gaining their first international experience. Later in the year, the Americans placed ninth at the FIVB World Grand Prix utilizing a roster of only three Olympians. The U.S. earned the silver medal at the Final Four Intercontinental Cup, losing to Brazil in the title match. Team USA ended the year with a fourth-place finish at the NORCECA Women’s Continental Championship with all three losses coming in five-set heartbreakers.
After the 2012 Olympic Games, McCutcheon will assume the role as head women’s volleyball coach at the University of Minnesota, a position he accepted in February 2011.
Less than four months after leading the U.S. Men's Olympic Volleyball Team to a gold medal at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing en route to being named the 2008 USOC National Coach of the Year, McCutcheon accepted the head coach position of the U.S. Women's National Team for the 2009-2012 Olympic quadrennial, USA Volleyball Chief Executive Officer Doug Beal announced on Dec. 15, 2008.
“This is a great opportunity for me to further develop professionally. I'm excited by the challenges this change presents, and I'm optimistic that some of the knowledge we've acquired with the men's program can translate to the women,” McCutcheon said in regards to changing roles to the U.S. Women's National Team. “There will be differences in systems and aspects of developing team culture but, at the end of the day, the fundamental principles of volleyball are not gender-specific.”
Beal notes this is not an uncommon situation in international or professional volleyball. There are many examples of coaches moving from one gender to the other, most notably Jose Roberto Guimaraes (Ze Roberto), who led the Brazilian men's team to the gold medal at the 1992 Olympic Games, and matched that success by leading the Brazilian women to the gold medal in Beijing.
“Successful coaches are successful coaches,” Beal said. “I have every confidence that Hugh can learn the differences that surely exist between genders and apply his philosophy to our women's team in a positive way.”
As the head coach of the U.S. Men's National Team at the 2008 Olympic Games, McCutcheon and Team USA went undefeated in Beijing to claim its third Olympic Games gold medal and its first podium finish since 1992. He compiled a 107-33 record in four years with the U.S. Men's National Team program, which ended 2008 ranked second in the FIVB World Ranking.
The U.S. enjoyed one of its best seasons ever in 2008 under McCutcheon's guidance as the team won all three of its major tournaments of the year. Team USA secured its first-ever FIVB World League championship in July 2008 after a bronze medal finish in the same event in 2007, the first time the Americans earned back-to-back medals in the annual event. The U.S. started the 2008 campaign in dominating fashion by sweeping all five matches at the NORCECA Men's Continental Olympic Qualifier to earn its berth in the 2008 Olympics.
The U.S. Men opened the 2007 season with a third-place finish at World League. McCutcheon handed the team over to assistant coach Ron Larsen for the 2007 Pan American Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The United States finished 4-1 in the event, with its only loss coming to hometown favorite Brazil in the gold-medal match.
McCutcheon and his men won the gold medal in the 2007 Americas’ Cup, defeating a young Brazilian team in the final. Then the United States hosted and won the 2007 NORCECA Men's Continental Championship in Anaheim, Calif. McCutcheon was presented with the inaugural Jim Coleman Award as the tournament's most outstanding coach.
In 2006, the U.S. Men encountered some bumps in the road to Beijing. Nevertheless, the team finished the season with a winning record at 18-14. In April 2006, McCutcheon and the team moved their center of operations from Colorado Springs, Colo. The move had many benefits as it put the team in the center of the men’s volleyball universe in Southern California and also removed the effects of Colorado's high altitude on the team's serves.
But injuries and the disruption caused by moving the team caught up with Team USA at FIVB World League, where it did not advance from pool play and finished tied for 10th. That was followed by another 10th-place finish at the 2006 FIVB World Championships in Japan. The U.S. Men’s world ranking slipped from fifth to eighth.
However, 2006 ended on a high note for McCutcheon, who married U.S. Women’s National Team player and 2004 Olympian Elisabeth "Wiz" Bachman on Dec. 9 in Minneapolis.
The U.S. Men’s Team flourished in McCutcheon's first year as head coach in 2005 by going 27-6 and winning five medals in five tournaments. The team earned a silver medal at the USOC International Sports Invitational in San Diego, Calif., gold medals at the Americas' Cup in Brazil, the FIVB World Championship Qualifying Tournament in Puerto Rico and the NORCECA Continental Championship in Canada and another silver medal at the FIVB World Grand Champions Cup in Japan.
McCutcheon, a former Brigham Young University assistant coach, joined USA Volleyball as a full-time assistant coach for the men’s national team program in April 2003.
McCutcheon was no stranger to the organization. In the summers of 2001 and 2002, respectively, he served as a volunteer assistant coach for the men’s national team, helping out during the 2001 World League, the 2002 World Championships and on five international tours.
He has also served as the head coach of the U.S. Boys’ Youth National Team in 2000 and 2001. McCutcheon was the top assistant coach and recruiter for BYU from 1995- 2001 under head coach Carl McGown. During that time, the Cougars posted a record of 138- 44 and captured two NCAA men’s volleyball championships (1999 and 2001).
After leaving BYU, McCutcheon was the head coach of the Vienna Hotvolleys in Austria for two seasons. In his first season there, the Hotvolleys won the 2001-02 Inter-Liga, Austrian Cup and Austrian League championships. He also coached the first Austrian team to ever beat an Italian A1 opponent.
McCutcheon’s love for volleyball developed in New Zealand where he played on the junior and senior national teams from 1986-90 before coming to the United States. He was also a member of New Zealand’s national team in 1996 and represented his country on the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour in 1997.
He played for BYU from 1991-1993 after transferring from the University of Canterbury in New Zealand. In 1993 he earned honorable mention All-America honors. In 1992 he earned Academic All-Conference honors from the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation.
After receiving his bachelor’s degree in physical education from BYU in 1993, McCutcheon played professionally for two years in Finland and Japan before returning to BYU to complete his master’s degree in exercise science in 1998.
In 1999, McCutcheon received an MBA from BYU’s Marriott School of Management.