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Nikolay Karpol

Born: May 1, 1938 in Bereznitsa, Belarus

Enshrined: 2009

Country: Russia

Category: Coach

Biography (Current at time of Induction)

Nikolay Karpol is one of the most successful and longest-serving international coaches in the history of the game, with his Soviet and then Russian women’s teams excelling on all of the world’s major volleyball stages. 

Known as “The Howling Bear,” Karpol was a regular at the Olympic Games, with his teams usually earning a last call on the Olympic podium, winning gold medals in 1980 and 1988 and taking the silver medals in 1992, 2000 and 2004 for a total of five Olympic medals.  

With Karpol as head coach of USSR team, the Soviets also struck gold at the FIVB World Championship in 1990, and earned three FIVB World Championship bronze medals (1994, 1998, 2002) and three FIVB World Grand Prix titles (1997, 1999, 2002). The team’s achievements also included the silver medal from the FIVB World Cup in 1989 and the FIVB World Cup’s bronze medal in 1989, while accumulating eight European championships (1977, 1979, 1989, 1991, 1993, 1997, 1999 & 2001). In recognition of the team’s success, Karpol was elected Coach of the Year by the FIVB in 1989 and 1991, and stands as the only two-time winner of the award.

Karpol is founder of a volleyball centre located in the Ural Mountains, where the two or three high-class teams trained in different years. He has trained many outstanding players who went on to become champions of the Olympic Games, and World and European titles. He also advised the strongest clubs of Croatia, Spain and Japan. In 2009, he became the head coach of the national team of Belarus.

As head coach of a women's club team "Uralochka" (Sverdlovsk), Karpol players dominated the Soviet leagues, winning the championship of the USSR from 1978 to 1982, and again from 1986-1991, were the silver prize-winners in 1984 and 1985, and took the bronze in 1977 and 1983. They also won the Cup of the USSR in 1986, 1987 and 1989, the Cup of the European Champions 1981-1983, 1987, 1989, 1990, and the Cup of owners of Cups of the European countries 1986. As head coach of a women's team of "Uralochka" (Ekaterinburg, ex-Sverdlovsk), he added the champion trophies of Russia 1992 from 2005, and the bronze medals in 2008 and 2009.

Karpol became a member of the Presidium of the Volleyball Federation of Russia, and served as the vice-president of the Volleyball Federation of Russia from 1995 to 2004. Since 2004 he has been a member of the Russian Academy of outstanding achievements in sport "Glory". Karpol has been awarded the “Honour Sign”, “The Country Distinguished Service Order”, the “Order of Friendship” medal, and the “Country Distinguished Service Award”, by the Soviet/Russian governments. In 2008, he was thanked officially by the President of the Russian Federation Dmitry Medvedev.