Jose Loiola is the owner of a very successful beach volleyball career that spanned 66 international tournaments, 20 World Tour medals, and an Olympic Games participation in 2000 with legend Emanuel Rego. Even though he tried following a different path from volleyball since retiring, the call from the beach was just too strong. He first took over as the coach for the American Junior and Youth teams, coaching Nick Lucena/Theo Brunner and Jennifer Kessy/Emily Day. He then took on a partnership with Sara Hughes and Kelly Claes in 2016, and upon their split, stayed with Sara when she partnered up with Summer Ross.
With the new duo, they won their first gold medal in the World Tour last week, in the four-star event in Moscow and are currently playing at the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour Finals for the first time. However, he is not shy in letting people know that the team’s end-game is the 2020 Olympic Games (Fivb.com).
“It’s always great to be part of the sport. I feel as involved as I was during my playing time because I know how every game and every point is important and how much hard work is behind that, so I get as angry and as happy as they are in the court. The truth is that I never planned on becoming a coach. I actually tried to engage in different situations outside beach volleyball after I retired but for a number of reasons new opportunities just kept coming. I guess it was my destiny to be back here. That’s the ultimate goal for sure (the OG Games). I’ve been there once and then I got injured and didn’t get another shot so it would be very special to return as a coach. I feel like the team still has to get more mature but they are in a position where they can beat any team in the world and that’s exciting.”
Hughes is also not shy when letting everyone her admiration for her new coach:
“He is definitely a game-changer. He is not only an amazing coach, he brings experience from his playing days so he knows what it’s like, he knows how tough it can be at times so it’s really great having that from him.”