Born: September 22, 1953 in Lublin, Poland
Category: Male Indoor Player
Tomasz Wojtowicz began his volleyball career with the Polish Junior National Team. He was spotted early by the National Team coach, Hubert Wagner, and invited onto the Polish National Men’s Team. Born in Lublin in 1953, Wojtowicz became the pivotal player who marshaled the dark horse Polish National team into the top rankings of the world in the 70’s.
Wagner recognized that Poland’s longtime rival, Russia, was winning all major volleyball competitions with a team strategy of pure power. Wagner developed a modification of Coach Yasutaka Matsudaira’s quick attack, revolving team strategy around the middle blocker, Tomasz Wojtowicz.
Wojtowicz, the team lynchpin, was an exceptionally powerful leaper, hitter and spiker. Not only did he excel at defensive play as the middle blocker, he pioneered the concept of back-row hitting, sending spikes across the court and through the opposing team.
Wojtowicz and the Polish National Team won a Gold Medal at the 1974 World Championship and a Gold Medal at the 1976 Olympic Games. The Olympic Gold Medal victory was a major upset in volleyball in that era, when the Japanese and Soviets dominated.
He also won five Silver Medals at the European Championships in 1975, 1977, 1979, 1981 and 1983. He continued playing volleyball in the Italian Leagues in the mid-1980’s, winning the Champions Cup in 1985. Wojtowicz was also the inspiration for the first victory on the road for an Italian Club Team in the Soviet Union.