The 2012 season marked a new beginning in Golden Gopher Volleyball with Hugh McCutcheon at the helm. As the Gophers first-year head coach, McCutcheon led Minnesota to a 27-8 record in 2012 and just two sets shy of a Final Four appearance. With the Gophers advancing to the NCAA Elite Eight, McCutcheon coached Minnesota to a tie for second in the Big Ten Conference standings, while Katherine Harms and Tori Dixon earned first and second team All-America citations.
McCutcheon came to Minnesota after an illustrious career with USA Volleyball as he earned two medals with the United States Men's and Women's Olympic teams. McCutcheon mentored the U.S. Women's National Volleyball Team to a 106-39 record in his four years after leading the U.S. Men's National Volleyball Team program to the 2008 Olympic Games gold medal. Counting his 107-33 record leading the U.S. Men's program from 2005 to 2008, McCutcheon held a combined record of 213-72 with USA Volleyball.
In his final three seasons with the women's program, McCutcheon guided the U.S. to an 88-25 record with podium finishes in 10 of 12 tournaments. In 2012, Team USA captured its second consecutive Olympic Games silver medal with a 7-1 record. In addition, the U.S. captured FIVB World Grand Prix gold medal for the third consecutive year. Team USA was 14-0 in the 2012 edition, including victories over Olympic Games bound Brazil twice (No. 2 in the world), Italy (No. 4), China (No. 5), Serbia (No. 6), Dominican Republic (No. 9) and Turkey (No. 11.).
The U.S. finished the 2011 season with a 39-10 record, highlighted by picking up the silver medal at the FIVB World Cup, winning its second consecutive FIVB World Grand Prix title, capturing the NORCECA Women's Continental Championship and earning the bronze medal at the Pan American Cup. Team USA knocked off Brazil twice in 2011, along with three wins over World Cup champion Italy and two wins over China.
The U.S. finished the 2011 season with a 39-10 record. Among the team's highlights were picking up the silver medal at the FIVB World Cup, their second consecutive FIVB World Grand Prix title, capturing the NORCECA Women's Continental Championship and winning the bronze medal at the Pan American Cup. Overall, the U.S. scored an 11-match victory improvement over 2010 and a 21-victory improvement from two years ago.
Team USA finished the 2010 season with a 28-13 record - a 10-match improvement in the victory column from the previous year. The U.S. claimed the silver medal at the Montreux Volley Masters and the bronze at the Pan American Cup in June 2010. The 2010 season was capped by a fourth-place finish at the FIVB World Championship.
In his first year leading the squad, McCutcheon was able to evaluate 30 players in international competitions, along with training several other players who were new or returning to the program. With the mix of youth and veterans, Team USA finished 2009 with an 18-14 record and provided vast experience for a young roster. The squad qualified for the 2010 FIVB World Grand Prix and 2010 FIVB World Championship based on results in 2009. The U.S. won the FIVB World Championship - NORCECA Group G third-round pool to advance to the FIVB World Championship at the end of 2010.
Less than four months after leading the U.S. Men's Olympic Volleyball Team to a gold medal at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing en route to being named the 2008 USOC National Coach of the Year, McCutcheon accepted the head coach position of the U.S. Women's National Team for the 2009-2012 Olympic quadrennial.
As the head coach of the U.S. Men's National Team at the 2008 Olympic Games, McCutcheon and Team USA went undefeated in Beijing to claim its third Olympic Games gold medal and its first podium finish since 1992. He compiled a 107-33 record in four years with the U.S. Men's National Team program, which ended 2008 ranked second in the FIVB World Ranking.
The U.S. Men's National Team enjoyed one of its best seasons ever in 2008 under McCutcheon's guidance as the team won all three of its major tournaments of the year. Team USA secured its first-ever FIVB World League championship in July 2008 after a bronze medal finish in the same event in 2007, the first time the Americans earned back-to-back medals in the annual event. The U.S. started the 2008 campaign in dominating fashion by sweeping all five matches at the NORCECA Men's Continental Olympic Qualifier to earn its berth in the 2008 Olympics.
McCutcheon started coaching the men's team in 2005. That season, the U.S. Men's Team flourished in going 27-6 and winning five medals in five tournaments. The team earned a silver medal at the USOC International Sports Invitational in San Diego, Calif., gold medals at the Americas' Cup in Brazil, the FIVB World Championship Qualifying Tournament in Puerto Rico and the NORCECA Continental Championship in Canada and another silver medal at the FIVB World Grand Champions Cup in Japan.
McCutcheon, a former Brigham Young University assistant coach, joined USA Volleyball as a full-time assistant coach for the men's national team program in April 2003.
Prior to that, in the summers of 2001 and 2002, respectively, he served as a volunteer assistant coach for the men's national team, helping out during the 2001 World League, the 2002 World Championships and on five international tours.
He has also served as the head coach of the U.S. Boys' Youth National Team in 2000 and 2001. McCutcheon was the top assistant coach and recruiter for BYU men's team from 1995- 2001 under head coach Carl McGown. During that time, the Cougars posted a record of 138-44 and captured two NCAA championships (1999 and 2001).
After leaving BYU, McCutcheon was the head coach of the Vienna Hotvolleys in Austria for two seasons. In his first season there, the Hotvolleys won the 2001-02 Inter-Liga, Austrian Cup and Austrian League championships. He also coached the first Austrian team to ever beat an Italian A1 opponent.
McCutcheon's love for volleyball developed in New Zealand where he played on the junior and senior national teams from 1986-90 before coming to the United States. He was also a member of New Zealand's national team in 1996 and represented his country on the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour in 1997.
He played for BYU from 1991-1993 after transferring from the University of Canterbury in New Zealand. In 1993 he earned honorable mention All-America honors. In 1992 he earned Academic All-Conference honors from the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation.
After receiving his bachelor's degree in physical education from BYU in 1993, McCutcheon played professionally for two years in Finland and Japan before returning to BYU to complete his master's degree in 1998. In 1999, McCutcheon received an MBA from BYU's Marriott School of Management.
Married to former U.S. Olympian Elisabeth "Wiz" Bachman, the couple has two children, Andrew and Annika.