North, Central America and Caribbean Volleyball Confederation

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PRESS RELEASE 11/15/2004

USA Women's Coach Yoshida Accepts Professorship in Japan

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado, November 15, 2004,-  The United States Volleyball Association (USA Volleyball) has been informed by Women's National Team Head Coach Toshiaki "Toshi" Yoshida that he has accepted a professorship position involving teaching and coaching at Biwako Seikei Sport College in Japan.


USA Volleyball had extended a contract offer for Yoshida to remain as its women's team head coach beyond 2004."We are disappointed that Toshi will not continue to lead the women's team, but we wish him much success in his new professional career," said Kerry Klostermann, Secretary General of USA Volleyball.


Yoshida, who served as an assistant coach for the USA Women from 1979-83 and again from 1998-2000, posted a record of 87-59 (.596 winning percentage) as head coach of the program.


"I have some mixed feelings, honestly speaking," explained Yoshida. "I am so appreciative of USA Volleyball for making me an offer and giving me another opportunity to try and make an Olympic medal team."I also think it will be good for me as a coach to go to the university in Japan and study the game from a different angle at this time," he added. "Teaching is very helpful for me to get more information to study and learn. As a coach you have to study forever. But I know I am going to miss coaching here."


During his tenure as head coach from 2001 through 2004, Yoshida led the USA Women to the No. 1 ranking in the world on two separate occasions and to a number of high-profile podium placements.


Team USA won the World Grand Prix and the NORCECA Championship in 2001 and earned a silver medal at the World Championships in 2002. In 2003 the women won their second-straight NORCECA Championship for the first time in 20 years and also earned bronze medals at the World Grand Prix and at the first Olympic qualifier, the World Cup in Japan.


The third-place finish at the World Cup clinched an automatic berth to the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece, for Team USA.


Before the Olympic Games this past summer, the United States captured the silver medal at the Montreux VolleyMasters and a bronze medal at the World Grand Prix. In Athens, Team USA finished the 2004 Olympics tied for fifth place after losing to Brazil in the quarterfinals, 3-2.


"I wish to thank all of my players for their hard work and commitment during my time here," said Yoshida. "I would also like to thank my assistant coaches, trainers and other support staff for everything they have done for our team. Without their hard work and dedication none of the success we enjoyed in the past four years would have been possible."

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