2003 FIVB WORLD GRAND PRIX

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 2002 Info
United States of America - Toshi Yoshida

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." 

Even 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 21-10 record.

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.

The World Championships taught me that
volleyball is not only skills, its not only systems,
but you really need heart and soul.
USA Head Coach, Toshi Yoshida