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2018-03-02 01:21:00 CET

European duo win Coach of the Year prize

Coaches honored by their counterparts for 2017 success

Robert Nowotny (left) receives his awarded on the Red Bull Beach Arena sandRobert Nowotny (left) receives his awarded on the Red Bull Beach Arena sand

Jürgen Wagner and Robert Nowotny have been named as the women’s and men’s Coach of the Year by their fellow coaches.

The announcement came on the Red Bull Beach Arena before a night sessions match at Fort Lauderdale Major.

The newly founded International Beach Volleyball Coaches Association (IBVCA), a representative entity for coaches on the FIVB tour, held a vote to decide the first winners of the award for the 2017.

German Wagner took the prize for his work with Olympic Champions Laura Ludwig and Kira Walkenhorst. The team enjoyed yet another stunning year on the sand, despite injuries restricted both players’ time on the court in 2017.  Ludwig/Walkenhorst took their first ever World Championship title in Vienna before going onto clinch back-to-back World Tour Finals on home sand in Hamburg.

Wagner’s motto is “99 per cent is not enough” – as well as Laura and Kira, Jürgen led Julius Brink and Jonas Reckermann to Olympic glory in London 2012. Jürgen's assistant coach and German Scout Ron Gödde picked up the trophy on his colleague's behalf.

Austrian Nowotny took the first ever men’s Coach of the Year prize after helping Clemens Doppler and Alex Horst to win a silver medal at last year’s World Championships in Vienna.

Nowotny, himself a former beach volleyball player who represented Austria in the 2004 Olympics, is also the men’s head coach of beach volleyball at the Austrian Volleyball Federation.

“The IBVCA would like to acknowledge one men’s team coach and one woman’s team coach, who over the course of the past season, had the most positive development or performance impact on their team,” the association said in a statement.

“After an incredibly close voting process, voted by the World Tour coaches, that came down to the wire last night, the IBVCA is very proud to announce that the first winners.”

For more information on the IBVCA visit their official website by clicking here.

Congratulations, Jürgen and Nowo from everyone from the Beach Volleyball Major Series.

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