COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado(AP) Jenny Lang Ping, who guided the U.S. women's volleyball team to the silver medal in the Beijing Olympics, has decided not to extend her contract with the team.
Lang, who as a player led China to a gold medal in the 1984 Los Angeles Games, said Tuesday that she was stepping down to spend more time with her family.
“It was a very challenging job with the many differences in system and culture compared to the Chinese system. Yet, I learned a lot and appreciate this rewarding experience,” she said in a statement released by USA Volleyball.
The U.S. women were 90-94 over Lang's four years with the team. The silver medal in her hometown of Beijing was the team's first appearance on the podium since 1992.
The women finished 4-1 during pool play, including a five-set victory over China, before defeating Italy and Cuba en route to face top-ranked Brazil in the Olympic final. The Brazilians won the gold with a four-set victory.
USA Volleyball chief executive Doug Beal complimented Lang's stabilizing leadership at the Olympics, which were marked by the stabbing death of Todd Bachman, the father of former Olympian Elisabeth “Wiz” Bachman.
Todd Bachman and his wife were attacked at a popular Beijing tourist site shortly after the opening ceremonies. Barbara Bachman returned to the United States after being treated at a local hospital.
Elisabeth Bachman is the wife of Hugh McCutcheon, the coach of the U.S. men's team that won the gold medal.
“We are so very lucky to have had her these past four years, not only for her qualities as a coach, but also for being such a great leader and role model for our program and athletes,” Beal said.
The search for a new coach would begin immediately, Beal said.