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Gary Sato new Japan men’s national team coach

Gary Sato helped the US men’s team take home a gold medal at the 1988 Seoul Olympics and then bronze at the Olympics in Barcelona in 1992
Tokyo, Japan, February 20, 2013 - The Japan Volleyball Association (JVA) has appointed 58 year old Gary Sato as new head coach of the Japan men’s national team. Sato was an assistant coach with the US men’s national team from 1984 to 1988, in 1992, and then from 2009 to 2012.

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.”


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