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Coach Profiles
 
Brazil

José Roberto Guimarães
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 Montreal (1976).

He started coaching in 1988 and between1989-90 he was assistant coach of the Brazilian men's national team under Bebeto de Freitas.

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.

Egypt


Hesham Badrawy
Hesham 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.

Japan


Shoichi Yanagimoto
Although 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 prom
oted 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.

Argentina

Hugo Jáuregui Besares
Prof. 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 this year.

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.

Poland


Ryszard Andrzej N
iemczyk
Andrzej 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 Vakifbank Ankara.

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 Malgorzata Niemczyk-Wolska.
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.

Dominican Republic


Jorge Garbey

Cuban Jorge Garbey took the coaching position of the Dominican Republic in January with instant success and the national women's team has been improving ever since.

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 the event. Spanish version
 

China

Chen Zhonge
Chen 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.

In 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 Olympics.

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.

USA

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

Italy

Marco Bonitta
After an inaugural World Championship title last year in Germany, Italian women's volleyball coach Marco Bonitta is eager to taste more success in a new four-year plan.

Last 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 Italian citizenship.

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".

 

Korea

 Kim Cheol-Yong
With 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 better.

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.


Cuba

Luis 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.

The 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 NORCECA Continental 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 American Volleyball 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”.

Luis Felipe Calderon                                                                                                                                                                                       Eider George Lafita