Volleyball mourns ex-USA coach McGown


McGown (left) worked with Hugh McCutcheon at national and university level

Colorado, USA, January 5, 2017 – The world of volleyball is mourning former USA coach Carl McGown, who died on December 30 aged 79. 

McGown was involved with the US men’s volleyball programme for over 30 years, as a coach, leader and mentor. He was also coach for Brigham Young University. 

He first became involved with the national team as an assistant coach for the US men’s team at the Bulgaria 1970, FIVB Volleyball World Championship. McGown was then made head coach from 1973-1976, which included leading the team at the Mexico 1974, World Championship. 

From then on he was in or around the team for the next 20 years. McGown returned in 1982 as a technical advisor and oversaw the team’s first Olympic gold at the Los Angeles 1984 Olympic Games. He was involved in the next six Olympic campaigns, two of which – Seoul 1988 and Beijing 2008 – finished with the USA atop the podium. 

After the 1974 World Championship, McGown was part of the USA delegations for the next six, up to and including Argentina 2002. 

At Brigham Young McGown led the team to three national titles before volleyball became a National Collegiate Athletic Association-sponsored (NCAA) sport. Later they won the NCAA title in 1999 and 2001. 

One of his players at BYU was Hugh McCutcheon, who later went on to lead the USA men’s team to gold at Beijing 2008 and women’s team to silver at London 2012. 

McGown was inducted into the American Volleyball Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2011 and in 2014, USA Volleyball awarded him the James E. Coleman National Team Award.

He is survived by his wife Susan Hammond McGown and two sons. Christopher, who was the head of the BYU men’s volleyball team from 2012-15, and Paul. The couple also has five grandchildren.

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