World Championships: The coaches who made it happen


Lausanne, Switzerland, November 6, 2018 - Vital Heynen and Zoran Terzic were the coaches who made history this year, guiding the men's team of Poland and the women's of Serbia to their celebrated titles at the 2018 FIVB World Championships in Italy/Bulgaria and in Japan.

Coach Heynen gives instructions at a timeout during the final of the 2018 FIVB Men's World Championship in which he led Poland to triumph over Brazil in Turin.

Just before the men's Final Six in Turin, the 49-year-old Belgian coach of Poland had quipped: "I feel tired, old and stupid," he said. "Tired because we have been travelling for 12 hours from Bulgaria to Italy, stupid because I'm the only coach here unable to speak the language of my own team, and old because I'm the only coach here for the second consecutive World Championship."

Though not entirely accurate (USA's John Speraw had also been in the 2014 World Championship), the statement did set a tone for the finals, as Heynen overcame these 'obstacles' to lead Poland to a second successive world title, four years after guiding Germany to bronze in Katowice.

Serbia coach Zoran Terzic and team captain Maja Ognjenovic just moments after Serbia beat Italy 3-2 in the final of the 2018 FIVB Women's World Championship in Yokohama.

Meanwhile, 16 years after taking the reins of the national team as Yugoslavia and then as Serbia & Montenegro, Terzic brought Serbia to the highest honour possible: a gold medal at the World Championship.

In the process, the 52-year-old Serb steered the team to European Championship titles in 2011 and 2017, a bronze at the 2006 World Championship, and silver at the 2015 World Cup and Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

The two head coaches were honoured last week at the annual Gala of the European Volleyball Confederation in Budapest, named Best Men's and Best Women's Teams Coaches of the Year for 2018.

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