When Brazil’s beach legend Jose Loiola was inducted into the International Volleyball Hall of Fame last month, it was another feather in the cap of the USA Volleyball Beach High Performance program.
Loiola has worked with USAV’s beach high performance athletes since 2010 as a National Head Coach. Last summer he became the personal coach of America’s up-and-coming duo of Kelly Claes, both products of the Beach HP program.
“Jose Loiola is a pillar to the Beach High Performance pipeline,” said Megan Burgdorf, USAV Manager of Beach HP. “His international coaching experience, player mindset and coaching philosophy has guided our junior and collegiate athletes to the podium time and again. He has a keen eye for developing elite talent to the next level and inspires our athletes to train outside of their comfort zone and at their peak performance.
In 2017, Loiola, Jeff Alzina and Marcio Sicioli, another Brazilian with a stellar resume, coached the U.S. team at the FIVB U21 World Championships in Nanjing, China, where American’s Mima Mirkovic and Kathryn Plummer earned a bronze medal.
(Sicioli coached Kerri Walsh Jennings and Misty May-Treanor to an Olympic gold medal in 2012 and KWJ and April Ross to a bronze in 2016.)
The USAV Beach HP program has attracted the best of the best to coach and mentor America’s young beach players. And that’s not hyperbole, since on Nov. 21, Loiola was given volleyball’s greatest honor.
“I felt honored and appreciated to be inducted,” Loiola said. “It is like all the hard work was appreciated because it was being recognized by the sport.”
Loiola was one of the most passionate beach volleyball players of the 1990s, winning 55 World Tour and AVP gold medals playing with some of the best the game has ever seen. Loiola and Emanuel Rego won the FIVB World Championship and World Tour in 1999. The pair finished ninth at the Sydney Olympic Games in 2000. The following year Loiola earned a World Championship silver with Ricardo Santos.
“Jose has an ability to share his lessons learned on the World Tour with our developing players,” Burgdorf said. “He teaches how to get and stay ahead of competitors. His approach to training fast tracks our athletes’ development to get the next level.”
Said Loiola, “I love working with the USA youth programs. I want to give back to the sport everything that it gave to me. The kids are the top in the country and I get to fine tune their skills. I played at a high level and I am trying to help them reach similar goals.”
One team benefitting from that experience today is Hughes and Claes. They brought him on this summer during the FIVB World Tour prior to the FIVB World Championships.
“We’ve worked with Jose in the past and we’ve really liked working with him in the beginning of the summer when we were home,” Claes told VolleyballMag.com “We decided to go with him and we absolutely love him. We love his passion, we love his enthusiasm. He was an amazing player (with 55 pro victories) and he’s an amazing coach and we’re really lucky and thankful that we got him on our team.”
USA Volleyball feels the same way.