Doug Beal, the long-time USA men?s national team head coach, has accepted an offer to become the new Chief Executive Officer of USA Volleyball, the sport?s National Governing Body (NGB) announced Thursday.

Pending the approval of the USA Volleyball Board of Directors at its Winter Meetings from Jan. 14-16, 2005, Beal is scheduled to start work in his new position on Feb. 1, 2005.

?USA Volleyball is lucky to have a person with Doug's experience and knowledge of the NGB willing to step up and assume this position,? said organization President, Al Monaco. ?He, of course, has all of my support. I am sure that the USAV board will confirm his selection when it meets in January.?

Beal, head coach of the 1984 USA men?s Olympic team that won the gold medal in Los Angeles, has served USA Volleyball in a number of capacities during a career that spans more than 30 years.

?I am excited, I am motivated and I am energized to see if I can have a positive impact on our association?and hopefully the sport in general?from this position of leadership within USA Volleyball,? said Beal, a member of the Volleyball Hall of Fame.

?I have had a very unique opportunity as I have grown up in the game to work for, and observe closely, every past CEO that USA Volleyball has ever had. And I hope I am smart enough and sensitive enough to have taken something that will be positive and constructive from every one of those previous leaders.

?I am indebted to Al Monaco, Rebecca Howard and the USAV Executive Committee for putting their faith and trust in me with this recommendation. I am honored to be their choice.?

Howard has been serving USA Volleyball as its interim CEO since September 2002.

Earlier this year, Beal became the second coach in USA Volleyball history to guide three teams to the Olympics when Team USA qualified for the 2004 Summer Games by winning the NORCECA Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Puerto Rico with a perfect 6-0 record. He also guided the team at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia.

Former women?s national team head coach Terry Liskevych was the first to coach at three different Olympic Games?1988, 1992 and 1996.

At the 2004 Olympics in Athens, Greece, Beal guided his squad to a 4-4 record and to a fourth-place finish overall?the team?s best Olympic finish in 12 years.

?Giving up coaching is very hard to do,? Beal admitted. ?I have left it before, and I have always returned to coaching. It?s a little bit emotional, and it?s a life-changing kind of decision. It was something that my family and I seriously talked about for a long time. I really like the arena environment, the competition and the international volleyball world. It?s going to be difficult to give it up.

?But this opportunity is special and I feel great about the decision.

?Hopefully I will have the opportunity to at least stay close through the relationship that I will have with the new USA team coaches and the chances that I will have to interact with the team,? he added. ?And I certainly expect that I will be more of a hands-on director of the national teams than previous people who have been in this situation simply because of my background.?

Beal was inducted into the Volleyball Hall of Fame in 1989 and was USA Volleyball?s first recipient of the All-Time Great Coach Award in 1995. He was named a finalist for the Federation Internationale de Volleyball (FIVB) Greatest Coach of the Century. Beal was also recently selected to the USA Volleyball 75th Anniversary All-Era Team as a coach during the Men?s 1978-2003 era.

?If I have a single objective, it is very simply to grow the game. I want USA Volleyball to be the catalyst and the leader in growing the game! That is what we?re about and I think that is what we ought to be about,? said Beal. ?There are lots of ways to grow the game, but we have this really wonderful vehicle: our association of member organizations that allow us to cover the entire country and the entire scope of the sport.

?I think the sport itself is the other wonderful vehicle. And most people who are in it understand its attractiveness, its diversity, its lifetime appeal and its popularity across so many segments of the population.?

Beal began his volleyball career as a player in his hometown of Cleveland. He earned conference Most Valuable Player and All-America honors while attending The Ohio State University. Soon after graduating from Ohio State in 1970, Beal joined the USA men?s national team.

While playing on the national team from 1970-71, he started and coached the men?s volleyball program at Bowling Green University. He returned to Ohio State in 1972 to become the Buckeye?s head coach while pursuing his doctorate degree in exercise physiology. He coached OSU for three years, leading them to a 52-15 overall record and earning conference Coach of the Year honors twice.

Beal?s playing career ended in 1975. In 1976 he accepted the head coaching position with the USA men?s national team at the age of 29. Beal helped establish the first-ever men?s year-round volleyball training facility in Dayton, Ohio, in 1978. The center moved to San Diego in 1981 along with the national team program.

After finishing 13th at the 1982 World Championships, Beal and his staff implemented a new revolutionary offense. His two-man serve reception, innovative use of multiple back-row attackers and swing hitters transformed the sport and led to a decade of dominance for the USA Men.

The team won the first leg of the elusive volleyball ?triple crown? in 1984 when the USA Men captured the country?s first-ever volleyball Olympic gold medal. Legends Karch Kiraly, Steve Timmons, Dusty Dvorak and Craig Buck were all part of Beal?s Olympic squad. Victories at the 1985 World Cup and 1986 World Championships capped off the American rise to the top of international volleyball.

Beal resigned as head coach to become the organization?s National Team Center Director from 1985-87. He remained involved with the organization until 1990 when he moved to Italy to coach a top professional team.

He rejoined the national team program in July 1993 as a special assistant to the Executive Director/CEO. He worked closely with former USAV Executive Director John Carroll, and was responsible for FIVB relations and player development for the USA national teams.

He worked in that capacity until he accepted the program?s head coaching position for the second time in 1997.

?We have had some remarkable successes, and I think it?s important for people to understand the breadth of what our association does,? explained Beal. ?Hopefully I can do a good job of getting that word out so that people really know what we are about.

?The other thing that I want people to understand is that we are the only country that has won a medal in every Olympics since 1984, either indoor or beach. So we have this tremendous legacy of success, but we also have these increasingly high expectations for performance.

?But I don?t ever want to be a CEO or a leader that downplays expectations,? he added. ?I want to keep expectations high. I want to motivate and lead and hopefully set a path for increasing successes and increasing expectations.?

Article courtesy of USA Volleyball (