Karch Kiraly is an American volleyball player, coach, and broadcast announcer who was a central part of the U.S National Team in the 1980s that won gold medals at the 1984 and 1988 Olympic Games. He again went on to win the gold medal at the 1996 Olympic Games, the first Olympic competition to feature beach volleyball. He became the only player (man or woman) to have won Olympic gold medals in both the indoor and beach volleyball categories. He is currently the head coach of the United States women’s national volleyball team leading them to their first-ever gold medal in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. While growing up, he had the Hungarian nickname Karcsi (pronounced Karch-ee), which corresponds to the Hungarian name Karoly for Charles. Later at UCLA, he began to be called Karch.
U.S. Women’s Volleyball Team picks up a gold medal
Head coach Karch Kiraly, who lives in Heber City, and his top assistant, former BYU player, and coach Luka Slabe, led the American women to the gold-medal match of the Tokyo 2020 Games. There, they defeated Brazil, the team that doused their gold-medal hopes in both 2008 and 2012, in straight sets. The scores were 25-21, 25-20, 25-14. When the final point went down in the championship, Kiraly – the first player to win an Olympic title as an indoor coach and player and on the beach – gathered Slabe and the other coaches in a writhing, celebratory circle. Meanwhile, the players collapsed in a pile on the court and cried in joy. “I told them they’re not only bad asses,” Kiraly said, “they’re gold-medal winners!” Slabe, who hails from Ljubljana, Slovenia, said the Olympics had always been his dream. “I’ve been waiting for this for 44 years,” Slabe told VolleyballMag.com prior to the start of the Games. “All my life, as a little boy, I’ve been dreaming how I was gonna make it. Here I am and it’s a very special Olympics. We’re back in Tokyo where in ‘64 women’s volleyball was introduced as the first women’s team sport at the Olympics. Now, here we are back in Tokyo.” Kiraly has been the women’s national team coach since November 2012. He tabbed Slabe to become an assistant women’s national team coach shortly after Slabe left BYU in 2018. In 2020, Slabe was also named the head women’s coach at NC State.
Why is Karch Kiraly Famous?
- Being an American volleyball player, coach, and broadcast announcer.
- Winning gold medals at the 1984 and 1988 Olympic Games.
From where is Karch Kiraly?
Karch Kiraly was born on November 3, 1960. His birthplace is in Jackson, Michigan, the USA whereas his hometown is in Santa Barbara, California. His birth name is Charles Frederick Kiraly. By nationality, he is American and his ethnicity is American-White. His race is White. Scorpio is his horoscope sign and he follows the Christianity religion. He was born to his father, Laszlo Kiraly, and his mother, Antoinette Kiraly. His father played for the Hungarian junior national volleyball team. He also has two siblings; Kati Kiraly and Kristi Kiraly. He celebrated his 60th birthday as of 2020. He began playing volleyball at age six and at the age of 11, Kiraly entered his first beach volleyball tournament paired with his father.
Concerning her education, Kiraly attended Santa Barbara High School, where he was a member of the boys’ varsity volleyball team. During his high school years, Kiraly was invited to join the Junior National Team, on which he competed for three years. In the year 1978, he enrolled at UCLA, where he majored in biochemistry and also was a brother of the Epsilon Sigma Chapter of Lambda Chi Alpha. He finished his college career with another title during his senior year. In his four years, the Bruins compiled a 123–5 match record, with titles in 1979, 1981, and 1982. They went undefeated in the 1979 and 1982 seasons. He earned All-American honors all four years and was awarded NCAA Volleyball Tournament Most Outstanding Player in 1981 and 1982. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Biochemistry from UCLA, graduating cum laude in June 1983 with a 3.55 cumulative GPA. He was also inducted into the UCLA Hall of Fame in 1992, and his jersey was retired in 1993.
What is Karch Kiraly Doing Now?
United States National Team
- Karch Kiraly joined the national team in the year 1981.
- He was also the foundation for the “two-man” serve reception system Doug Beal created in 1983.
- He led U.S National Team to the gold medal at the 1984 Summer Olympics, overcoming a pool play loss to Brazil to defeat Brazil in the finals. He was also the youngest player on the gold medal team.
- The US National team showed their place as the world’s best team by winning the 1985 FIVB World Cup, followed by the 1986 FIVB World Championship.
- In the 1988 Summer Olympics, the team won its second Olympic gold medal defeating the USSR in the championship match.
- He was even selected as a captain for the 1988 team at Seoul.
- FIVB even named him the top player in the world in 1986 and 1988.
- He retired from the national team following the 1988 Olympics.
- He played professional volleyball for Il Messaggero Ravenna in Italy from 1990 to 1992 alongside his teammate Steve Timmons.
- In two seasons the team won a series of titles, including the Italian Volleyball League (1991), the Italian Cup (1991), FIVB Volleyball Men’s Club World Championship (1991), CEV Champions League (1992), and the European Supercup (1992).
- He is currently the head coach of the United States women’s national volleyball team leading them to their first-ever gold medal in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Beach Volleyball Career
- Karch Kiraly is the ‘winningest’ player in the sport’s history as he had a long career on the professional beach circuit, and with 148 career won tournaments.
- He claimed titles with 13 partners, and in domestic events, he made it to the semifinals over 80% of the time. Kiraly competed into his mid-40s.
- At the age of 11, he played his first beach tournament.
- He earned his A and AA rating on the beach at the age of 15 and his AAA rating at 17.
- His big beach breakthrough came at Hermosa Beach in 1978.
- He made a successful beach team pairing with UCLA teammate Sinjin Smith in the 1980s.
- He left his indoor career behind, returning to the U.S. to play beach volleyball full-time on the AVP tour in 1992.
- In 1996, Kiraly returned to the Olympics, this time competing in beach volleyball with his partner, Steffes. Kiraly and Steffes won the gold medal, the first-ever awarded for men’s beach volleyball. He won 148 professional beach volleyball titles, 74 of them with Steffes.
- Over his career on the beach, he won over $3 million in prize money and earned considerably more in endorsements.
- He retired from the AVP tour after the 2007 season.
Karch Kiraly Coaching Career
- Karch Kiraly initially started coaching at St. Margaret’s Episcopal High School where he coached his sons, Kristian and Kory.
- Then, he was hired as an assistant by head coach Hugh McCutcheon where he helped coach the team to a silver medal at the 2012 London Olympics.
- He was named head coach of the US National Women’s Volleyball team to try to compete in the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 2012.
- He also coached the Women’s National Team to the FIVB World Championship, defeating China in the Gold Medal final. In doing so, Kiraly became the fourth person to win a World Championship gold medal as a player and a coach in October 2014.
- He led the US women to a bronze medal, becoming the fourth player to win medals as player and coach during the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
- On 8th August 2021, during the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, Japan, he led the US women to a gold medal, becoming the second player to win a gold medal as player and coach whereas the first person is Lang Ping from China.
- Additionally, he is also an author. He is the author of two books, “Karch Kiraly’s championship volleyball”, co-authored with Jon Hastings and published by Simon and Schuster in 1996, and “Beach Volleyball”, co-authored with Byron Shewman and published by Human Kinetics in the year 1999.
- Besides this, Karch has also worked as a broadcaster for ESPN and has even provided color commentary for the AVP on NBC broadcasts.
- He also worked as an analyst for NBC Sports during their coverage of the beach volleyball competition at the 2008 Summer Olympics.
Awards and Achievements
- All American (1979, 1980, 1981, 1982)
- NCAA Volleyball Tournament Most Outstanding Player (1981, 1982)
- UCLA Hall of Fame (inducted 1992)
Fédération Internationale de Volleyball (FIVB: International Federation of Volleyball)
- FIVB Best Player in the World (1986, 1988)
- FIVB Best Player of the 20th Century
American Volleyball Professionals (AVP Professional Beach Volleyball)
- AVP Best Offensive Player (1990, 1993, 1994)
- AVP Best Defensive Player (2002)
- AVP Comeback Player of the Year (1997)
- AVP Most Valuable Player (1990, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1998)
- AVP Sportsman of the Year (1995, 1997, 1998)
- AVP Outstanding Achievement Award (2004)
Volleyball Hall of Fame inducted 2001.
American Volleyball Coaches Association
- AVCA Hall of Fame inducted 2005
College Sports Information Directors of America
- Academic All-America Hall of Fame inducted 2009
U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame in 2008.
Who is Karch Kiraly Wife?
Karch Kiraly is a married man. He tied the knot to his beautiful wife, Janna. The couple is also blessed with two kids; two sons named Kristian and Kory. Karch and Janna, both are supportive and loyal to each other. Karch Kiraly is currently residing in Heber City, Utah, USA with his wife and their kids.
What is Karch Kiraly Net Worth?
Karch Kiraly is a volleyball player, coach, as well as a broadcaster whose net worth is estimated to have $2 million as of 2021. He has won over $3 million in prize money and earned considerably more in endorsements. His major source of wealth comes from his coaching career. Details regarding his salary are still to get unfold yet.
What is the Height of Karch Kiraly?
Karch Kiraly is a handsome man. He has a tall height of 6 ft 2 in or 1.88 m. His balanced bodyweight consists of 205 lbs or 93 Kg. His other body measurements such as chest size, waist size, bicep size, and more are still to get revealed yet. Overall, he has got a healthy body with a charming personality.