Finland's Tuomas Sammelvuo named Volleyball Canada's new men's national team coach

Tuomas Sammelvuo was named the new head coach of Volleyball Canada's men’s indoor program on Thursday.

Sammelvuo is a former player, both professionally and for his native Finland, and is the current head coach of the PlusLiga team, Grupa Azoty ZAKSA, based in Poland.

He was previously the head coach of the Finnish national team and led Russia to 2019 Volleyball Nations League gold and a silver at the Tokyo Olympics in 2021. The Russians eliminated Canada from the Tokyo Games in the quarterfinals of the men's tournament.

"I have seen the Canadian team develop over the years both as a player and now as a coach, and have much respect for the work the coaches and athletes have done with the program to date," said Sammelvuo. "I'm looking forward to this challenge and bringing my experience to the team and collaborating with the coaches in the development system to ensure the future success of the program."

Sammelvuo played for top teams in Europe and Asia during his long career as an athlete. He played for Finland from 1993 to 2010 and was appointed captain of the team in 1997.

He was also named sport coach of the year in Finland in 2014 and 2021.

"We are excited to have Tuomas join our program," said Julien Boucher, Volleyball Canada's high performance director (indoor). "His international record is impressive, and he is eager to work with our players and development coaches as we work toward qualification for Paris 2024 and beyond."

Volleyball Canada’s men’s team finished eighth at the Tokyo Games and is currently ranked 15th in the world.

Canada will be participating in next year's Volleyball Nations League, which begins June 6, 2023. The host cities are yet to be announced.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 3, 2022.

The Canadian Press