Volleyball Australia has turned to two of Australia’s most experienced domestic coaches, including two-time Olympian Andrew Schacht, to help steer the country’s beach volleyball program ahead of the 2018 Commonwealth Games and 2020 Olympic Games.
Schacht (men’s) and Simon Naismith (women’s) will take over the senior coach roles after spending several years working as assistant coaches, and having worked on developing Australia’s best junior players into world-class athletes.
Schacht and Naismith will work under the direction of the newly appointed Technical Director and Head Coach, former Australian elite player, Victor Anfiloff.
The beach volleyball high performance program will remain in Adelaide, where both Schacht and Naismith have been based.
Schacht, who competed at the 2004 and 2008 Olympics, has been coaching since his retirement from top level beach volleyball in 2009.
He has also been the Pathways Coach and men’s head coach of the Volleyball Australia Beach Volleyball Centre of Excellence based at the South Australian Sports Institute (SASI).
Naismith has been the Assistant Coach with the Volleyball Australia women’s beach Volleyroos since 2013, and was previously the VA National Talent Identification and Development Coach, and managed the national junior program.
Volleyball Australia has also appointed two coaches and an assistant coach at the Centre of Excellence in Adelaide.
Michael Nelson, who has been head coach at SASI since 2014, and more recently the women’s head coach at the VA Centre of Excellence, will be joined by Tom Kroeger, a 2008 Olympian with the German indoor team who has since coached the 2012 GB Olympic beach team and is currently the head coach of Denmark’s national beach teams.
Aden Tutton, a member of Australia’s 2012 indoor Olympic team, will continue as the assistant coach at the Centre of Excellence.
Volleyball Australia’s High Performance Director, John Boultbee, said it’s an exciting time for beach volleyball in Australia.
“We were thrilled to have Victor Anfiloff agree to take on the Technical Director’s role, and now in Andrew and Simon we have a coaching structure which is world class,” Mr Boultbee said.
“Adding Michael, Tom and Aden to the team gives us a fantastic blend of experience and knowledge, just what we need as we head into an incredibly exciting period for beach volleyball.
“We are incredibly grateful for the hard work undertaken by previous senior coaches Steve Tutton and Craig Marshall, who have helped over several years to lay the platform for beach volleyball in Australia into the future.”
Australia qualified two women’s teams for the Rio Olympics, with Louise Bawden and Taliqua Clancy finishing in fifth place.
Australia has not qualified a men’s team at an Olympic level since 2008.