In every field of human endeavour there are those who stand out among their peers. In my profession an exceptional body of work is normally related to winning. Among volleyball coaches one of the most exceptional bodies of work belongs to Rumanian born German coach Stelian Moculescu. Over a 40 year coaching career in the German Bundesliga he won 18 championships, 19 cups and the CEV Champions League. For a large part of his career he was also coach of the German National Team, who he led to Olympic Qualification for the first time in history in 2008.
He was a controversial figure for his entire career, up to and including his last match. Every story of the Bundesliga in his time was about him in some way. He was a ferocious competitor, putting him at odds with many along the way. He was a great coach. The teams he had in Friedrichshafen in 2009 and 2010 were a perfect blend of control and aggression. I have tried to adapt that philosophy in every team I have had since then. I stood on the other side of the net from him nearly 40 times in my career. I came out of it a bit worse than even. I did better than most.
On sunday in Berlin was his last match on the sidelines. His team lost, but Berlin (club and fans) represented volleyball. For these three minutes, volleyball celebrated one of its greatest figures.
And maybe that was not his final goodbye to coaching…