McCutcheon, who has served as either the US women's or US men's coach since 2005, accepted the University of Minnesota’s offer to lead its women's team on February 10. However, he said at the time his arrival as the full-time coach at Minnesota would be at a mutually agreed date. McCutcheon will now join the Gopher volleyball team in that capacity on September 1, 2012 – after the Olympic Games in London.
"I am honoured to continue serving as head coach of the US women's national team through the 2012 Olympic Games," McCutcheon said. "I believe this is the right decision for my family, USA Volleyball and the University of Minnesota. Once the 2012 Olympics are completed, I will invest all of my energy into the University of Minnesota's women's volleyball program. Until then, my attention will be focused on training the US women's national team to be the best it can be at the 2012 Olympic Games. I am extremely grateful to both USA Volleyball and the University of Minnesota Athletic Department for their complete support and understanding of this decision."
New Zealander McCutcheon, 41, has served as the coach for the US women's team for the past two seasons after leading the US men's Olympic team to gold at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games.
"We are pleased that we have been able to work out a win-win solution to allow Hugh to finish his USA Volleyball contract through the 2012 Olympic Games in London," Beal said. "He has put together a terrific staff working with an extremely talented group of athletes who had remarkable success last season, including the gold medal at the FIVB World Grand Prix and a fourth-place finish at the FIVB World Championship. USA Volleyball appreciates the cooperation of University of Minnesota Athletic Director Joel Maturi and his athletics staff in making this a positive situation for Hugh, his family, USA Volleyball and the Gopher volleyball program."
"The hiring of Hugh McCutcheon was made with the understanding that he was the best coach for the long term for the University of Minnesota," University of Minnesota Director of Athletics Joel Maturi said. "From the beginning, Hugh and I have discussed the importance of his commitment to USA Volleyball and the 2012 Olympics. We are honoured that Minnesota's new head coach will be representing the United States in London. Laura Bush will do an outstanding job as the interim coach for the 2011 season and we expect our program to continue to compete at the highest level."
Less than four months after leading the US men's team to the 2008 Olympic gold medal, McCutcheon agreed to serve as coach of the country's women's team through to London 2012. In his first two years with the team he has developed a unit built around both established veterans and young players capable of competing on the international scene. The team, currently ranked second in the FIVB world rankings, has a 46-27 record in two years, despite the transition to new techniques employed by McCutcheon and his staff. In addition, McCutcheon has brought over 70 players into the gym for evaluation and over half of them have been on international trips representing USA.
Last season he guided the United States to a 28-13 record – a 10-match improvement in the victory column from his first season in 2009. The US claimed silver at the 2010 Montreux Volley Masters in Switzerland and bronze at the 2010 Pan American Cup in June. Using a starting line-up of two rookies and four players with less than two years' experience, the Americans earned the gold medal at the 2010 FIVB World Grand Prix, the premier annual women's international tournament. The 2010 season was capped by a fourth-place finish at the FIVB Women's World Championship."USA Volleyball just finished its largest ever US Women's National Team open tryouts, and the interest in the program has never been greater," Beal said. "A lot of this success relates to how Hugh has developed the program and reached out to the college community."
Fourth is no good enough