United States of America - Toshi
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
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, it’s not only systems,
but you really need heart and soul.”
USA Head Coach, Toshi Yoshida