Thursday, 23 May 2024

Surfing Break Led to Long Career for Kerry Klostermann

Kerry Klostermann, left, with Karch Kiraly at the 2012 FIVB World Congress

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Aug. 3, 2020) – Discovering a new passion during a break from surfing, Kerry Klostermann embarked on a remarkable 42-year career with USA Volleyball.

Klostermann, who recently retired as USA Volleyball’s secretary general, witnessed significant milestones throughout his career. These included the U.S. winning their first Olympic volleyball medals in 1984, the introduction of beach volleyball at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, and the success of the U.S. Women’s Sitting Team, who secured Paralympic gold in 2016.

But it all began when Klostermann, then a college student and basketball player at UC San Diego, took a break from surfing in 1968 and stumbled upon beach volleyball. Mesmerized by the game, he and a friend started playing, sparking his love for the sport.

Impressed by Klostermann’s skills, he tried out for the UCSD men’s volleyball team and excelled, leading them to victory in the 1970 NAIA National Championship, where he was named MVP.

Klostermann then traveled to Canada to pursue his master’s and PhD in psychology. While there, he became a Canadian citizen and played for the Canadian National Team in the 1976 Montreal Olympic Games.

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Career opportunities took him to Toronto, where he coached Canada’s Men’s Junior National Team and Women’s National Team. However, fate had other plans for Klostermann when he met Doug Beal in 1977. Beal introduced him to the new U.S. Men’s National Team training center in Dayton, Ohio, where he joined as an assistant coach.

Under Beal’s leadership, Klostermann witnessed the transformation of the men’s national team. Instead of short-term camps, Beal established a full-time training program, revolutionizing the team’s approach to the sport.

After the U.S. Men’s Team didn’t qualify for the 1980 Olympic Games, Klostermann’s role changed, and he found himself back in San Diego. There, he took on the position of general manager for the Men’s National Team, ensuring the athletes had jobs at local businesses while receiving a full-time salary.

In 1985, the Women’s National Team also relocated to San Diego, resulting in the consolidation of both programs. Eventually, they moved to Colorado Springs, with Klostermann assuming various roles, including senior director, executive director, and secretary general.

Klostermann’s contributions extended beyond the success of U.S. teams. He played a pivotal role in organizing the FIVB World Congresses in 1996 and 2012, as well as staging the Olympic Trials for beach volleyball in Atlanta.

Throughout his tenure, Klostermann prioritized sponsorship development, forging long-term partnerships with esteemed brands such as Molten, Sport Court, and Hilton Hotels. His dedication and passion made going to work each day a joy rather than a job.

As he embarks on the next chapter of his life, Klostermann hopes to stay involved in volleyball on a volunteer basis, giving back to a sport that has become ingrained in his DNA.

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FAQs

Q: What were Kerry Klostermann’s most significant achievements during his career with USA Volleyball?
A: Kerry Klostermann witnessed historic moments, including the U.S. winning their first Olympic volleyball medals in 1984 and the debut of beach volleyball at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. Additionally, he played a crucial role in the success of the U.S. Women’s Sitting Team, who won Paralympic gold in 2016.

Q: How did Kerry Klostermann’s involvement in volleyball begin?
A: While taking a break from surfing in 1968, Kerry Klostermann watched a beach volleyball game and was captivated. He started playing the sport and eventually became a part of the UCSD men’s volleyball team, leading them to victory in the 1970 NAIA National Championship.

Q: What role did Kerry Klostermann play in the development of the U.S. Men’s National Team?
A: Kerry Klostermann joined the U.S. Men’s National Team as an assistant coach in 1977, where he worked closely with Doug Beal. Together, they established the first full-time training program for the team, transforming their approach and setting the stage for future success.

Summary

Kerry Klostermann’s remarkable 42-year career with USA Volleyball is a testament to his passion and dedication to the sport. From discovering volleyball during a break from surfing to witnessing historic moments, Klostermann’s journey is filled with achievements and milestones. His contributions to the U.S. Men’s National Team, sponsorship development, and organizational efforts have left a lasting impact on the sport. As he looks towards the future, Klostermann hopes to continue giving back to volleyball, a sport that has become an integral part of his life.

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To learn more about Kerry Klostermann’s journey and the world of volleyball, visit Alpinetgheep.com for in-depth articles, expert insights, and engaging content.