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Givi Akhvlediani

Born: July 17, 1918 in Tbilisi, Georgia

Died: August 29, 2003 in Moscow, Russia

Enshrined: 2003

Country: Russia

Category: Coach

Biography (Current at time of Induction)

Inducted as a Coach Givi Akhvlediani had the unusual accomplishment of coaching both men's and women's teams to gold medals. A "game coach," he was a master of match-ups and could turn a game around by substituting players to correct weakness in team play.

He got his start by playing both basketball and volleyball together and soon became a first class player and champion of Russia in 1938, 1939 and 1940. He was awarded Master of Sport in 1938, a rare award at that time.

After military service during World War II, he continued playing basketball and volleyball, alternating championship wins from 1944 to 1947. In 1948, he chose volleyball as his full-time career and went on to play in the first European Championships in that same year. He played with the CSKA team from 1948 to 1955, winning four Russian National Championships, and the USSR National Men's Team, winning a gold medal at the 1951 European Championships and gold at the 1952 World Championships.

A career military man, Akhvlediani then became coach of the CSKA team and led them to six Russian National Championships in 1958, 1960-1962, 1965-1966 and two Champions Cups. He coached the USSR National Men's Team to gold medals at the World Championships in 1960 and 1962.

After the defeat Russia women experienced at the hands of the Japanese in the 1964 Olympic Games, Akhvlediani was asked to recommend improvements to the training of the Russian National Women's Team and was later appointed coach of that team in 1967. He led them to a gold Medal at the 1967, 1971 and 1975 European Championships, the World Championship in 1970 and the World Cup in 1973. His team took Gold Medals at the 1968 and 1972 Olympic Games.

Akhvlediani received a "Special 20th Century Award" by the Federation Internationale de Volleyball when it considered volley ball's best coaches of all-time.