COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Aug. 21, 2019) – Tayyiba Haneef-Park was hard to miss playing for the U.S. Women’s National Team.
Her stellar career on the court led her to become a three-time Olympian and two-time Olympic silver medalist during her 11 years with Team USA.
Haneef-Park is now standing out in a different regard. Since retiring as a player following the 2012 Olympic Games, she has transitioned into the coaching ranks, both in the beach and indoor game. Earlier this summer she served as an assistant coach for the U.S. Women at the Pan American Cup in which Team USA won gold.
And as she stands in as the head coach for the U.S. Women’s National Team competing in the NORCECA Champions Cup at the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Training Center in Colorado Springs Aug. 22-24, Haneef-Park may be setting a record as the tallest head coach of a women’s national volleyball team.
While her 6-7 (201cm) height provides a unique factoid from a player’s perspective and now standing on the sideline as a coach, Haneef-Park’s background as a world-class athlete now leading future Olympic hopefuls makes her stand out above the crowd.
“It is exciting,” Haneef Park said. “I think one of the benefits of having been in the pipeline as a player is that I understand the struggles and the triumphs that these women have gone through. I can relate to them on a personal level. I have been in their shoes myself and I can show what I got out of it and where the road leads. Just on a personal level, I love that I can share some heartfelt experiences with them, coach them through the triumphs, successes and failure.”
To get to this point, Haneef-Park has had some tremendous coaching role models to utilize in her own transformation from player to coach.
“It was amazing to have an all-female staff in 2008,” Haneef-Park said of having legendary player and head coach Lang Ping and Sue Woodstra as the head coach and assistant coach for her squad at the 2008 Olympic Games. “Karch (Kiraly) has been completely amazing in having a growth-mindset and how he has transformed the culture of USA Volleyball and the U.S. Women’s National Team. Rita Crockett and Debbie Green have been some women who I have always looked up to. I have had a strong background of women coaches and some strong male athletes who have played in the Olympics as well.”
The U.S. Women will play at 5 p.m. each night of the NORCECA Champions Cup with matches against Canada on Aug. 22, Puerto Rico on Aug. 23 and Dominican Republic on Aug. 24. Meanwhile, the U.S. Men are competing in the dual gender event. They will face Puerto Rico on Aug. 22, Cuba on Aug. 23 and Canada on Aug. 24. The non-USA matches will be at 1 p.m. (men’s match) and 3 p.m. (women’s match). All match times are listed as local/Mountain Time.