USA Volleyball announced Tuesday that "Jenny" Lang Ping has elected not to extend her contract as the head coach for the U.S. Women's National Volleyball Team program for the upcoming Olympic quadrennial, according to USAV Chief Executive Officer Doug Beal.
Lang Ping celebrates Team USA's victory over Cuba in the 2008 Olympic Games semifinals with Tom Hogan (left), Diane French (second to right) and Sue Woodstra (right). [USA Volleyball]
Lang Ping cited the desire for a coaching position that offers more flexibility to spend time with her family as a major factor in her decision, according to a report published on the website of the USA volleyball governing body.
"I prefer a club volleyball season that lasts five months so that I can spend the other seven months of the year with them (family)," Lang Ping said on her decision to leave USA Volleyball.
Lang Ping said it was a very challenging job with the many differences in system and culture compared to the Chinese system.
She said she was somewhat torn with her allegiance to China, but it was very satisfying professionally to lead the US to the 2008 Olympic Games silver medal in her home country and also witness China earn the bronze medal.
USAV CEO Beal said "USA Volleyball is very fortunate to have had "Jenny" leading our program for the past four years, and we respect her decision to devote more of her life to family while remaining in the coaching profession."
During her four-year tenure with the US National Team, Lang Ping compiled a 90-49 record and led Team USA to its first Olympic Games medal since 1992 with the aforementioned silver in Beijing with a 4-1 record including a five-set victory over China.
Lang Ping has Olympic medal experience as both a player and coach while competing in the United States. She scored a gold medal as a star outside hitter for China at the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles. Lang Ping returned to the United States as the head coach of the 1996 Chinese Olympic Team and led the squad to a silver medal in Atlanta.
As a coach, Lang Ping is a rarity in the international women's volleyball circles. She was the only female head coach among the top 20 countries listed in the FIVB World Ranking. According to FIVB files, Lang Ping and former Hungary women's team coach Gabriella Kotsis are the only female coaches to lead teams into multiple Olympics. Kotsis led Hungary during the golden era of Hungarian Volleyball, leading the country into three Olympic Games (1972, 1976, 1980).
According to Beal, USA Volleyball intends to act quickly in finding the new head coach for the program.
(CRI November 26, 2008)