Gary Sato new head coach of the Japan Men’s National Team
This is the first time in its history that the country’s men’s or women’s national volleyball team will have a head coach not born in Japan. Sato does have ties with the country, however, being a fourth generation US citizen of Japanese descent.
Speaking at a press conference, Sato said “It’s a great honour. I have tremendous respect for Japanese culture and Japanese volleyball. There is lots of work to be done in the short period of time and I look forward to getting into the task.”
When asked for his impressions of the Japanese team, Sato said, “I think the Japanese players have a lot of technical skills and abilities. I think there are some areas where they can improve and I would like to spend some time with them to see their strengths are and weaknesses.”
Sato’s appointment was welcomed by JVA President Taizaburo Nakano, who said “Japan’s men’s national team has not won a gold medal since the 1972 Munich Olympic. The team are currently 19 in the world rankings and have stagnated. In order to step forward, we need to forget the glory of the past and think from a new point of view. That is why we have appointed a foreign head coach for the first time in the team’s history knowing that Mr. Sato has achieved solid results with the world’s leading teams.”