José Roberto Guimarães (Zé Roberto), 49, is the
only Brazilian coach to win an
Olympic gold medal (Brazil's men's team in
Barcelona 1992) and currently
trains the Brazilian club champions Bradesco BCN.
As a player with Brazil, Guimaraes was twice South
America champion in 1973
and '75 and seventh at the Olympic Games in
He started coaching in 1988 and between1989-90 he
was assistant coach of the
Brazilian men's national team under Bebeto de
In 1991 his teams were second at the World
Championships in the Women's Youth
and Girls Junior categories, followed by a gold
medal success with the senior
team at the 1992 Olympics. He then took charge of
the Brazilian men’s team and
in 1993 became World League champion at home and
South American champion. In
1994 his team placed third in the World League and
fifth at the World
Championship in Greece.
In 1995 his lineup was second in the World League,
South American champion and
third in the World Cup in Japan before finishing
fifth at both the 1996 World
League and the Olympic Games in Atlanta.
Now, in 2003, he returns to the national set up to
take hold of the reins of
the women’s national team, once again.
Badrawy is considered the most famous Egyptian
coach for women’s teams in history and under his
supervision the Egyptian women’s national teams
have claimed some of the most important victories
in its history.
Badrawy, 60, started his coaching career when he
was only 22-years-old after he retired early as a
player. He started with the Al-Ahly youth boys
team in 1965, and then coached the Egyptian B
team. He started his women’s coaching career in
1976 and in the same year he lead the national
team to their first ever title, the African
Nations Championship in the Egyptian city of Port
Said. He continued in this role with the national
team until 1995 but returned again to the post one
year later to continue his work and gain more
titles for the Egyptian women.
He has coached four Egyptian teams in big world
competitions including the World Women’s
Championship in China 1990 and Germany 2002, the
Men’s Universidad in Bulgaria and the World
Companies Championship in South Africa. He led the
Egyptian women’s team to three African Nations
Championship titles in 1976, 89 and 2003. He also
won the gold medal at the All Africa Games in 1987
and three gold medals at the All Arab Games.
As an illustration of his remarkable expertise he
also qualified with the Egyptian Youth team for
the Girls U-18 World Championship in Poland
earlier this year.
there are a large number of Volleyball
coaches in the world, there are not many like
Shoichi Yanagimoto, the present head coach of the
Japanese women’s squad, who has been involved in
various aspects of Volleyball.
Yanagimoto, born in Osaka in 1951, was a promising
setter even in high school and won two national
high school titles. Following a decision by
Yanagimoto to pursue a career as a Volleyball
player with the New Nippon Steel team, one of the
major companies in Japan, he
was selected for Japan’s national squad and
achieved remarkable success – 1st at the Asian
Games in Iran in 1974, 3rd at the World
Championship in Mexico in 1974 and 4th in the
Olympics in Montreal in 1976. Furthermore, for
four seasons from 1980 to 1984 Yanagimoto played
two roles at New Nippon Steel as the head coach
and as a key setter and led his squad to a
glorious victory in the Japan League, the then
premier League in Japan, and Yanagimoto himself
was awarded the prize of Best Coach in 1982.
In 1985, Yanagimoto was invited to Thailand to
coach the Thai men’s national squad. Compensating
for a lack of time and difficulty in communicating
with his players with his passionate coaching,
Yanagimoto made them the champions at the SEA
Games. He sometimes recalls the time in Thailand
and is convinced that his experience in Thailand
has broadened his horizons and mind.
The following year, 1986, Yanagimoto was asked to
be involved in the founding of a new team, Nisshin
Steel, and to coach them and he resumed his career
in Japan. Needless to say, Nisshin Steel soon got
promoted to the first
division, the V. League, and as a result
Yanagimoto was highly thought of as a coach.
1997 was the turning point in his Volleyball
career. Yanagimoto took over as coach of
the women’s company team of the V. League, TOYOBO
Orchis, and won the V-League twice in five
seasons. However, in 2002, due
to the long-lasting economic depression
their company owner decided to close its Volleyball
team (like Hitachi,
Odakyu and UNITIKA),
despite being one of the top teams.
In spring in 2003, Yanagimoto was appointed as the
head coach of the Japanese senior women’s national
squad by the JVA and launched the first selection
camp in March with over 30 candidates for his
squad, which included some experienced players
e.g. Tomoko Yoshihara and Asako Tajimi and fresh
promising players like
Megumi Kurihara and Kana Oyama. Yanagimoto’s final
goal is to be
ranked No.1 in the world in the
near future. In order to achieve this goal,
Yanagimoto has determined to build up his squad by
initiating short - and long - term plans.
A passionate and devoted coach, Yanagimoto, has
been full of ambition to qualify for the Olympics
in Athens at the Women’s World Cup – this is the
goal of his short term plan -
taking advantage of
being the host country.
Hugo Jáuregui Besares
Hugo Jáuregui Besares, 49, is one of the most
experienced coaches in Argentina but he has only
been in charge of the national women’s senior team
Besares first took over as coach of the national
women’s team at the start of the season and
immediately took them to a second place finish at
the South American Continental Championship, hence
qualifying the team for the World Cup.
The Buenos Aires born coach has had extensive
experience with the Argentine national women’s U17
side from 1996 to 2001, which included two ninths
and a 12th place finish at the World Championship
and two silvers and a gold at the South American
Championship in 2000, 1998 and 1996 respectively.
In 1997 Besares took on the role as assistant
coach of the national women’s U19 side as well,
seeing the team through to 12th place at the World
Championships in Poland in the same year.
However, it was in 1990 when Besares had his first
taste of coaching an Argentine national team when
he was assistant coach for the senior men’s team,
which finished sixth at the World Championship.
A coach with a Level III certificate, Besares
definitely has the qualifications to take the
Argentina women’s team to great things. One waits
with great anticipation for the World Cup.
Ryszard Andrzej Niemczyk
Niemczyk, a former player for Spolem Lodz, Stal
Mielec and Anilana Lodz, started his coaching
career working with ChKS Komunalni Lodz.
Surprisingly, he quickly guided this small local
team into the first division, which made him quite
famous in Poland.
In 1975 he was selected to be the head coach of
the Polish women’s national team for the first
time but he left in 1977, after the European
Championships in Finland as he was not able to
keep the promise of a medal position, although
Poland was very close, finishing fourth. Until
this year that was Poland’s best achievement in
the Women’s European Championship.
Between 1980 and 1989 Niemczyk was in charge of
the West German national women’s side and in 1984
his team participated in the Los Angeles Olympic
Games, finishing 6th. In Germany, he was also the
coach of club teams: SV Lohhof and SC Berlin.
Following his time on the international stage
Niemczyk spent most of the 90s in Turkey, reaching
success with club teams: Eczacibasi Istanbul and
Now, in April 2003, 59-year-old Niemczyk accepted
his second term in charge of Poland following the
sudden resignation of Zbigniew Krzyzanowski.
Niemczyk brought not only new quality but also a
new life into the national side, as he gathered
all the best Polish players. His first success was
achieved in the European World Grand Prix
qualifying tournament held on home soil in Pila.
The home team finished second, securing a spot in
the 2004 World Grand Prix in Italy.
But the best was still to come. In September,
Poland surprisingly won gold at the European
Championship in Turkey. That was the first ever
continental title for any Polish senior team.
Among the golden players was his daughter
Not only are Niemczyk’s sporting achievements to
be admired but he makes no secret that he is
struggling with cancer. Like he often says, he had
to learn how to live with this fatal disease.
Jorge Garbey took the coaching position of the
Dominican Republic in January with instant success
and the national women's team has been improving
In the Pan American Cup in the first month of the
year in Saltillo, Mexico he led
his side to the silver medal after
the Dominicans had
defeated Cuba for the first time in 35 years
in a superb come-from-beind 3-2 victory.
Garbey improved that feat with another five sets
victory over Cuba, this time for the gold medal in
the Pan Am Games in Santo Domingo.
During the Norceca Continental
Championship, also on
Dominican soil, Garbey guided the Dominican
Republic to the bronze medal
after losing to Cuba in a five-setter during the
semifinals. Although this wasn't enough on
its own to qualify for the World Cup, the
performance was enough to receive a wild card for
Zhonghe has been in charge of the Chinese national
women's volleyball team since 2001, the same year
as the side won the World Grand Champion title,
but his involvement with the team goes well beyond
the last two years.
1979 he joined the team as a trainer before moving
into the assistant coach's position in 1989, a
role he maintained until moving into the role he
holds today. A coach with strong principles and
high values Zhonghe's experience in the coaching
arena is proving invaluable as he works with a
young Chinese team that is focusing on the
Last year's World Championship in Germany
highlighted the potential of his players as China
finished 4th after going down to Russia 3-1 in the
bronze medal match. "In serving, attacking and
defending, our team stands shoulder to shoulder
with European teams," he said. But he cautions
against too much optimism by quoting a Chinese
proverb: "It's easy to climb to the top," he says,
" but not easy to stay there."
Zhonghe was born in the Fujian province in 1957
and has a daughter and a son.
Toshi Yoshida is in his third year with the U.S.
Women's National Volleyball Team and he already
has to his credit the silver medal at the World
Championships and finish the year with a No. 3
world ranking. "I think this year it looks like we
did a really good job, but we did not peak,"
Yoshida admitted. "We can be better. That is my
prediction. Robyn (Ah Mow) did not play in the
World Championships. Keba (Phipps) joined the team
in midseason. We couldn't use some of the systems
that I wanted to use because we had such a short
preparation time. So I think 2002 wasn't too bad.
But you have to be careful. Anything can happen."
so, he came to the World Championship in Germany
with the modest aim of reaching the second round.
In reality, even without an injured Phipps in the
lineup, the USA found itself tied with Italy, 9-9,
in the fifth and deciding set of the gold-medal
match and although they finished with the silver
medal, the US coach exercises caution. "Even
though we got second, everybody thinks the USA is
good enough to maintain this level," Yoshida
revealed. "I have to say I don't think so. The
players know, I know, everybody knows: We have to
keep working hard."
The team built upon its surprising fourth-place
finish at the 2000 Summer Olympic Games in Sydney,
Australia, by reestablishing itself as a world
power in 2001. The women did not lose a game in
qualifying for the 2002 World Championships with
sweeps over Mexico, Costa Rica and Puerto Rico.
The USA then captured the gold medal at the World
Grand Prix, posting wins over the top-four teams
in the world - Brazil, China, Cuba and Russia (three
times) - in the process.
To prove that the Grand Prix was not a fluke, the
women then beat Cuba (Olympic champions in 1992,
1996 and 2000) two more times in posting a 4-0
record en route to the NORCECA Zone Championship.
Overall, the U.S. finished the 2001 season with a
In November 2000, Yoshida was named the head coach
of the USA Women's National Volleyball Team,
replacing Mick Haley. Yoshida served as the
assistant coach of the USA women from 1979-83 and
again from 1998-2000. He helped the team improve
from a No. 10 world ranking to a fourth-place
finish at the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games. During
his tenure, the team posted victories over No. 3
Brazil, No. 4 China and No. 5 Korea to improve to
a No. 6 world ranking.
Indeed, Yoshida brings with him a wealth of
experience. He was a star player in Japan before
becoming the trainer for the Hitachi Club Team in
1976. The Hitachi Club formed the nucleus for the
1976 gold medalist Japanese Women's Olympic Team.
He joined the USA women's national Volleyball team
in September 1979 as an assistant coach. Yoshida
returned to Japan in 1983 to lead the Hitachi Ltd
Club to the 16th Japanese League title in 1982-83.
From 1983-97, he was head volleyball coach and
associate professor at Tokyo Gukugei University.
He also served as the head coach of the Japanese
World University Games teams in 1985 (gold) and
1995 (silver). Yoshida spent two years as the head
coach of the Tierp Volleyball Club of Sweden
before rejoining the USA women's national team
staff in 1998.
Yoshida and his wife, Shoko, are the parents of a
19-year-old daughter, Yoko.
World Championships taught me that
volleyball is not only skills, it’s not only
but you really need heart and soul.”
USA Head Coach, Toshi Yoshida
inaugural World Championship title last year in
Germany, Italian women's volleyball coach Marco
Bonitta is eager to taste more success in a new
month the 39-year-old Bonitta turned down a
mountain of overseas offers to sign a four-year
extension to his two-year Italian coaching
contract and after leading the Italian women's
team to their best international performance last
September he is already looking to make further
space in the trophy cabinet.
"After winning the World Championship I want the
European title and a Olympic medal now," he said.
"The main objective at the moment is a European
Championship title before aiming for the Olympics.
"The World Grand Prix is an ideal stepping stone
in the whole process but the main objective is
conquering Europe. In order to do that we have to
face our old rivals Russia, who up until now have
always been our bogey team but now is the time to
change that trend. "We go into the Grand Prix to
take a medal but it will serve us well in
preparation for continental championship. "We also
have the Olympics in mind. All the girls have
started a personalized program in order to be in
the best possible shape come August 2004. I do not
speak about gold at the moment but if we arrive at
Athens in the same condition as we did at the
World Championship we will definitely be on track."
Playing as defending World Champions is a
new-found burden for Italy and with tournaments
such as the World Grand Prix (July 18 - August
10), the European Championship in Turkey (September
20-28) and the World Cup in Japan (November 1-15),
Bonitta knows it won't be an easy time having the
title of World Championship champions associated
with his team, "but I have already the remedy. We
will have to forget all the sacrifices we have to
complete in order to win. The trouble is thinking
that things will happen by themselves or to
justify an eventual defeat thinking that, after
all, we are champions of the world. The difference
at the top is minimal and if rendering the title
is already on the mind it is time to come down
from the altar ".
Part of Bonitta's plan to help him achieve
European and Olympic glory is to possibly call up
of Cuban opposite Taimarys Aguero to his national
side saying "she is the only player who is capable
of adding anything to our squad at the moment".
The 26-year-old has been playing for the Italian
league side Despar Perugia since 1998 and having
last played for Cuba in 2001, she is now seeking
Another aim of Bonitta's is to improve Italy's
world ranking where they currently sit sixth. "They
will be four important years in which we are
obligated to start a new cycle.
"When finishing this term I hope to leave the team
in the top three of the world rankings".
the World Grand Prix, the
World Cup and Olympic Games
qualification all apart of the
agenda in 2003 Kim
Cheol-Yong's return as head
coach of the Korean national
women's volleyball team
couldn't have been timed
This year signals the start of
his third campaign in charge
of the Korean team following
stints from 1993 to 1996 and
1999 to 2000 and he will need
all that experience to see him
through a year where the
eighth-ranked team in the
world is going through a
period of rebuilding.
The 49-year-old is a stalwart
of Korean volleyball and has
the pedigree, particularly in
the Korean domestic league
where he lead his club side LG
Caltex-Oil to nine consecutive
Super League titles and a run
of 82 successive games
undefeated, but it won't be an
easy task having to shape a
squad renowned for its
tenacity and spirit but
lacking in genuine height.
After already having worked
with a young squad at the
Sydney Olympics the eighth
place result saw Cheol-Yong
replaced but his work with
Korea's dominant club side was
too good to ignore and hence
another term at the helm.
Felipe Calderon and
Eugenio George Lafita
Former assistant coach Luis
Felipe Calderon made his debut
as head coach of the Cuban
women’s team at the 2002 World
Championship in Germany where
he finished in a credible
fifth place. But ever since
the glory days of the 1990’s,
Cuba continues to struggle to
get back on to the podium and
heads to Japan in search of
some moral boosting form.
1994 and 1998 World Champion
and three-time Olympic
Champion are now in the
rebuilding phase with players
like Yanelia Santos and Nancy
Carillo de la Paz just 17
year’s old and it’s up to
Calderon, who took Cuba to the
silver medal at the 2003
Championship, and the renowned
Eugenio George Lafita, 70, who
is accredited with the status
of assistant coach, to put
Cuba back on track.
Lafita was in charge when Cuba
finished 11th out of 12 teams
at the 2003 World Grand Prix,
registering just one win (over
Italy) from five matches and
will be Calderon’s right hand
man in Japan.
However Lafita, who was
elected as FIVB Coach of the
20th Century, brings a lot of
experience to the set up and
it’s not uncommon for the two
coaches to take leading roles.
He made his debut as a coach
in 1966 as trainer of the
men’s team who went on to win
the gold medal at the Central
Championships. In 1970 he took
over the Cuban women’s team,
beginning a golden period for
Cuban Volleyball for the now
famous “Morenas del Caribe”.
Eider George Lafita