"Nobody wins all the time and we have to make sure nobody loses all the time."
Julio Velasco is a sports legend. He has an impressive coaching record in which he brought every volleyball team he ever coached to the top, both male and female, in Argentina, Italy and the Czech Republic. For him, victory is a walk in the park. However, victory has a number of different faces. The most visible victory is over one’s opponent. There is also the victory over external difficulties and circumstances and finally, the most important of all, the victory over ourselves and our limits. None of these three may be obtained without ideas or inspiration.
ABOUT JULIO VELASCO
Julio Velasco was born in La Plata, Argentina, in 1952. His first contact with the world of volleyball was during his high school and college years when he studied philosophy and played in and trained youth volleyball teams. However, his true career began in 1979 at the Ferrocarril Oeste sports club in Buenos Aires, with which he won four consecutive championships. In 1982, as vice-coach of the Argentinian national team, Julio won the bronze medal at the world championship. In 1983 he moved to Italy, and two years later began to coach the Panini Modena team. Here, he met some of the players that would make volleyball history in the following decade: Cantagalli, Bernardi, Lucchetta and then Vullo. Together with the more experienced Bertoli, they went on to form the structure of the team that succeeded in returning the league title to Modena, and to win it for four consecutive seasons until 1989. In that same year, Julio switched to coach the Italian National Team. He immediately won the gold medal at the European championship in Sweden, the first in Italian volleyball history and only the first of a long streak of successes. Until 1996, when Julio left the blue bench, Italy gathered 3 european golds, 2 world championships, and 5 world league victories. Responsible for this success, besides the aforementioned names, are also Zorzi, Giani, Tofoli, Gravina, and Bracci. This extraordinary group of players made up the so-called generation of phenomenons: the Italian national team of those years was later appointed as Team of the Century. The players' talent, however, does not overshadow their coach. Indeed, during that period, Julio also acquired celebrity status outside of the volleyball world. Some of his expressions, such as the "eyes of the tiger" to indicate the fierce look he asked of his players on the field, became very popular. In 1997-98, he trained the Women's National Team in Italy. From an idea of his came the Club Italia, a team that allows promising young athletes to train all year long. Club Italia has trained names like Togut, Lo Bianco, Mello, and Rinieri, world champions in Germany 2002. Julio’s popularity in the world of sports was so great that he was appointed manager of the Lazio soccer team, and also Moratti’s Inter team. In 2001, he returned to training a volleyball team as coach of the Male Czech National Team and in 2003, he returned to the Italian championship, leading the Coprasystel Piacenza team to the final league title. In 2006, Julio switched to the Acqua Paradiso Gabeca Montichiari team, which he led to conquer the title playoffs in the following season. Then, in June 2019, after finishing his career as a coach, Julio was appointed technical director of the youth sector of the Italian Volleyball Federation.