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McCutcheon Named USOC 2008 Coach of the Year

May 26, 2009, 5:25 p.m. (ET)

B.J. Evans (Media Relations for U.S. Men’s National Team)
Manager, Media Relations and Publications
Phone:  719-228-6800
E-Mail: bj.evans@usav.org

Bill Kauffman (Media Relations for U.S. Women’s National Team)
Manager, Media Relations and Publications
Phone: 719-228-6800
E-Mail: bill.kauffman@usav.org

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (May 26, 2009) – USA Volleyball Head Coach Hugh McCutcheon (Christchurch, New Zealand), who led the U.S. Men’s National Team to the gold medal at the 2008 Olympic Games before taking over the U.S. Women’s Team in December 2008, has been named the 2008 National Coach of the Year by the U.S. Olympic Committee.

McCutcheon, 39, is the first volleyball coach to receive the award since the program was initiated in 1996. McCutcheon and the other honorees will be presented with their awards on June 13 during a luncheon at the 2009 National Coaching Educators' Conference in Pittsburgh. The conference will be held at the Sheraton Station Square and hosted by West Virginia University's Athletic Coaching Education Department.

"It's a wonderful honor," McCutcheon said from his office at the American Sports Centers in Anaheim, Calif.  "I think in very large part it reflects the work and the success of the team and the staff. While it's nice to get singled out for this individual award, I am certainly accepting it on behalf of everyone who was part of that program."

As head coach of the 2008 U.S. Men's Volleyball Team, McCutcheon guided the squad to the gold medal at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing - the first gold medal for the team since 1988.

Although hit by personal tragedy shortly after his arrival in China and missing the team's first three matches, McCutcheon returned to guide Team USA undefeated through the Olympic Games. The U.S. Men, ranked third entering the 2008 Olympics, defeated Venezuela, Italy, No. 4 Bulgaria, China, Japan, No. 5 Serbia in the quarterfinals, No. 2 Russia in the semifinals and finally No. 1 Brazil in the gold-medal match.

McCutcheon also led the U.S. Men to their first-ever FIVB World League title in 2008 and coached Team USA to a 29-5 record last season. As the head coach for the U.S. Men during the past Olympic quadrennial, he led the team to an overall 107-33 record.

McCutcheon accepted the U.S. Women's National Team head coaching position in December 2008, taking over for “Jenny” Lang Ping, who led the U.S. to a silver medal at the 2008 Olympic Games.

U.S. Olympic and Pan American sports organizations selected their 2008 Coaches of the Year as part of the USOC Coach of the Year Recognition Program. The winners in each category were chosen by a panel of coaching and sport education professionals.

The USOC Coach of the Year award was initiated in 1996. The program was developed using the philosophy that, to succeed in Olympic sport, athletes must strive for excellence almost from the moment they begin to compete. At every stage of their careers, coaches empower athletes to rise to the next competitive level of sport. If coaches do their job well, their athletes will ultimately receive the highest accolades for their achievements and become better human beings along the way. The USOC Coaching Committee developed the criteria for each Olympic sports organization to follow in selecting a Coach of the Year in both the elite and developmental categories.

Other coaches honored by the USOC were:

Developmental Coach of the Year Rajul Sheth, Table Tennis
Volunteer Coach of the Year Rita Gladstone, Tennis
Paralympic Coach of the Year Ken Armbruster, Paralympic Goalball
"Doc" Counsilman Science Award Honoree Dave Bennett, Wrestling