August 11, 2012 |
LONDON - Perfect endings are for novels. Not so much for real life, or for volleyball teams and coaches. These London Olympics were to be the completion of the Hugh McCutcheon sweep, both as kind of payback for past Olympic-related indignities and as a success story with a gender twist. McCutcheon, a tall New Zealander with no hair, lots of personality and an irresistible back story, wasn't promoting any of that. He was coach of the men's U.S. Olympic volleyball team that won the gold medal four years ago in Beijing.
July 28, 2012 |
LONDON - He changed the training site from Colorado Springs, Colo., to Anaheim. He changed the culture from one of rigid structure to one of freedom yet accountability. Now, Coach Hugh McCutcheon hopes to change the U.S. women's indoor volleyball team's medal color. And though the affable-yet-intense New Zealand native asks, "Have you got a big notepad?" when asked about their main challengers, Team USA is the favorite to win gold for the first time. If that happens, McCutcheon, who led the men's team to gold at Beijing, will become the first coach to win consecutive golds with a men's and women's team and just the second overall to do so.Brazil'sJose Roberto Guimaraes, who led the Brazilian men to victory in 1992 and women in 2008, is the only other coach to perform this feat.
May 26, 2012 |
The question makes Hugh McCutcheon pause. He knew it was coming but, still, he takes a deep breath. "Yeah," he says. "Beijing happened. " The well-respected volleyball coach will soon lead the U.S. women to the 2012 Summer Olympics, where they are favored to win gold. But in looking ahead to London, he must also look back. Four years ago, McCutcheon was coach of the men's team at the Beijing Games. Just after the opening ceremony, a knife-wielding man randomly attacked his family at a Chinese tourist site, then committed suicide.
January 13, 2009 |
Life has settled down somewhat for Hugh McCutcheon, the man for whom the Beijing Olympics became the best of times and the worst of times. He is home in Irvine, but also back in Minnesota frequently, where his mother-in-law, Barbara Bachman, has recovered from the stab wounds she suffered in the attack at a tourist spot. The same attacker, Tang Yongming, killed her husband, Todd, the 62-year-old chief executive of a Minnesota gardening business.
August 25, 2008 |
Beijing This Olympic story is an epic, the kind of real-life movie that captivates you and leaves you choking back tears on your family-room couch. The story of Hugh and Liz McCutcheon, her parents and the gold-medal-winning United States men's volleyball team is all that. How it is told is another issue, and it took Hugh McCutcheon to lead us down the correct path here Sunday. What he eventually said, without directly saying it, was that it deserves to be told minus the Hollywood schmaltz.
August 23, 2008 |
BEIJING -- David Lee's block landed safely on match point, securing the first U.S. medal in men's indoor volleyball since 1992 and dispatching the vaunted Russian team in five nerve-racking games. Late Friday afternoon, U.S. players tried to make sense of it all, a seemingly impossible task given the tragedy that had infiltrated their ranks and that the unlikeliest of gold-medal matches against Brazil awaited on Sunday. Nothing will ever explain the murder of coach Hugh McCutcheon's father-in-law, who was stabbed to death here on the first day of Olympic competition by a Chinese assailant who later committed suicide.