Hugh McCutcheon Accepts Minnesota Coaching Position

Feb. 10, 2011, 10:59 a.m. (ET)

Bill Kauffman
Manager, Media Relations and Publications
Phone: 719-228-6800

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Feb. 10, 2011) – Hugh McCutcheon (Christchurch, New Zealand), who has served as either the U.S. Women’s or U.S. Men’s National Volleyball Team Head Coach since 2005, has accepted the University of Minnesota offer to become its head women’s volleyball coach according to Minnesota Athletic Director Joel Maturi.

McCutcheon will continue to fulfill his current obligations with USA Volleyball and join the Gophers as their full-time head coach at a mutually agreed upon date in the future. Current Minnesota assistant coach Laura Bush, who has twice been an NCAA Division I head coach during her career, will serve as the interim head coach at this time while McCutcheon is with the U.S. Women's Volleyball Team.

“I am honored and excited to coach the women’s volleyball program at the University of Minnesota,” McCutcheon said. “This is a wonderful opportunity, both personally and professionally, and I hope we can continue the (Minnesota) team’s strong history of success. It is and continues to be an honor and privilege to coach the U.S. Women’s National Team.”

McCutcheon, 41, has served as the head coach for the U.S. Women’s National Volleyball 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 always want the best for our employees and we are trying to develop a win-win situation that works for USA Volleyball, Hugh and his family and the University of Minnesota,” USA Volleyball Chief Executive Officer Doug Beal said. “We value very much Hugh as a coach of our U.S. Women’s National Team and want what is best for him in the long-term. Hugh has been remarkably successful and we hope that success can continue. But ultimately, we want what is best for Hugh.”

Through his first two years with the U.S. Women’s National Team, McCutcheon 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 50 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.

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. With the mix of youth and veterans, Team USA finished 2009 with an 18-14 record and provided vast experience for a young roster. 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 FIVB World Championship to be end at the end of 2010. 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 top-ranked 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.

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 United States Olympic Committee (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 on Dec. 15, 2008.

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. Men’s National Team 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 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.

The U.S. Men’s National Team flourished in McCutcheon's first year as head coach in 2005 by going 27-6 and winning five medals in five tournaments. However, the squad hit some bumpy spots in 2006 and finished with an 18-14 record.

McCutcheon joined USA Volleyball as a full-time assistant coach for the U.S. Men’s National Team in April 2003. At the time, he was no stranger to USA Volleyball. In the summers of 2001 and 2002, respectively, McCutcheon served as a volunteer assistant coach for the U.S. Men’s National Team, helping out during the 2001 FIVB World League, the 2002 FIVB World Championship 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 Brigham Young University’s 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).

McCutcheon played volleyball 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.

McCutcheon is married to 2004 U.S. Women’s Volleyball Olympian Elisabeth “Wiz” Bachman, who is from the Minneapolis area.

In 1999, McCutcheon received an MBA from BYU’s Marriott School of Management.