COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (March 20, 2017) – Tama Miyashiro, a silver medalist on the 2012 U.S. Olympic Women’s Volleyball Team, has accepted an assistant coach position with the U.S. Women’s National Team effective immediately, according to head coach Karch Kiraly.
“During Tama’s years as a Women’s National Team player, nobody involved with our program was more selfless, more supportive and loyal to those around her, more humble and more dedicated to learning than she has been,” Kiraly said. “Those qualities always made Tama a prime candidate for making a strong transition into coaching, so we’re thrilled to have her join our coaching staff.”
Miyashiro, who joined the U.S. Women’s National Team as a libero in January of 2010 after a stellar career at University of Washington, retired from the game as a player last summer following a series of injuries that kept her off the court. Along with her silver medal won at the 2012 Olympics, Miyashiro helped Team USA win gold in three FIVB World Grand Prix events (2011, 2012 and 2015). She was also part of the 2011 FIVB World Cup U.S. squad that won silver to qualify for the 2012 Olympic Games.
“I would like to thank Karch for giving me this opportunity to continue working with the Women’s National Team,” Miyashiro said. “It’s an honor to be able to represent USA as an athlete and now as a coach. I’m extremely grateful for the relationships and experiences I’ve had over the years and am excited I get to continue being part of this USA Volleyball family. I’m looking forward to growing as a coach and as a team as we push towards Tokyo.”
In her transition away from being an athlete, Miyashiro served as a volunteer assistant coach at Arizona State University in last season. She also was a coach with Peak Volleyball Academy in Harbor City, California.
Miyashiro, 29, was a two-time American Volleyball Coaches Association Second-Team All-American (2008, 2009) after being selected to the third team as a sophomore in 2007. She finished her collegiate career as Washington’s all-time leader in digs (2,382) and digs per set (5.36). She was twice named National Defensive Player of the Year by Volleyball Magazine.
Off the court, Miyashiro was elected by her peers in indoor, beach and sitting volleyball to serve as USA Volleyball’s representative to the United States Olympic Committee’s Athletes’ Advisory Council (AAC) for the 2017-2020 quadrennial last year but will need to relinquish the role now that she is a paid employee of the national governing body. The USOC AAC is an advisory council with the primary responsibility of communicating athletes’ concerns and issues to the USOC family, as well as communicating information from the USOC family directly to elite athletes.
Miyashiro was one of three co-founders for the Give It Back Foundation in which U.S. Women’s National Team players give back to their local communities through volleyball clinics for youth athletes in spreading the core values of “Lead. Play. Compete!” and raising funds for local charities.
Courtney Thompson, who was Miyashiro’s teammate at University of Washington for two seasons (2005-2006) and with the U.S. Women’s National Team from 2010 to 2016, feels Miyashiro is a quality fit on Team USA’s coaching staff.
“Tama is just really special,” Thompson said. “No matter her role, she impacts those around her with her willingness to serve others, commitment to what’s possible, and by the fact that she is just so grounded in who she is. Every player and coach on Team USA will be better for having her on staff. I can’t think of anyone I’d rather have be a part of this program and continue to represent our country, and our sport, at the highest level.”
Foluke Akinradewo, who has been a U.S. Women’s National Team teammate since 2010, said Miyashiro will be a valued addition to the program.
“Tama is one of the most caring, humble, passionate, wise and self-less people I know,” Akinradewo said. “As her teammate on the National Team, I was fortunate to witness – and be a recipient of – her strong leadership skills and her effortless ability to positively impact those around her. Some coaches are called to the profession because of their desire to mentor and effect positive change; no question Tama is one of those coaches. Her wealth of knowledge and her ability to connect with and relate to the players will be a very valuable asset to the continued growth and strength of the National Team program.”