Tehran, Iran, March 13, 2014 – Iran Volleyball Federation has named Slobodan Kovac, former Olympic champion and legendary Serbian volleyball player, as new coach of the men’s national volleyball team.
Kovac’s appointment follows the departure of Argentine Julio Velasco who left the Iran team in February to take up the position of head coach of the men’s national team in his home country. Kovac, who was selected for the position following extensive negotiations with several candidates, will take up his post in April and will coach the team until the end of the current Olympic cycle in 2016.
Speaking about the appointment Dr. Mohammad Reza Davarzai, president of Iran Volleyball Federation said, “We surveyed Kovac’s working experience and resume. He is a native of Serbia but has successfully performed in Italy, the cradle of world volleyball. He has two medals from Olympic Games and he also played for two years in super league matches in Iran. So he has a good background and knowledge of Iranian volleyball. After having several direct negotiations with him, we reached our final decision to give the coaching position of our national team to him.”
Kovac’s first task will be to lead Iran (WR 12) in the World League this year, where the team will play Italy in Trieste in their first away match of the Intercontinental Round on May 30. Under Velasco’s leadership, Iran put in an impressive performance at their first appearance in the World League last year, where they finished in ninth place. However, all eyes will be on the FIVB Volleyball Men’s World Championship Poland 2014, when Iran will join 23 other qualified countries in the most anticipated volleyball event of the season.
The new Iran coach was born on September 13, 1967 at Veliko Graditse in Serbia. He played volleyball for 22 years representing the ex-Yugoslavia national team with whom he won a bronze medal at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta. He won his first gold medal at the summer 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney when he was 33 years old. Kocvac was coach of the Perugia team in Italy’s Serie A and won two championships with Radnicki Kragujevac in Serbia before moving to Italy.