Read about Karch Kiraly who retired his
successful playing career in 2007 and is one of the most famous
volleyball players. We introduce the best volleyball players in the
world – from the past and present.
Profile of Karch:
Charles Kiraly, known as Karch Kiraly or just by his nick name Karch is
born November 3, 1960 in Jackson, Michigan, USA. Kiraly is one the most
famous volleyball players and the only volleyball player yet to have
won an Olympic gold medal in both indoor volleyball and beach
The Kiraly family has Hungarian heritage. Karch's father László took
off Hungary in the aftermath of 1956 Hungarian Revolution. The Kiralys
immigrated to the United States and eventually settled in Santa
In 1978 Kiraly led his high school volleyball team at Santa Barbara to
an undefeated senior season and was named the state's high school Most
Valuable Player (MVP).
During his high school years, he also represented the U.S. junior
Karch went on to attend University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) and
graduated with a B.S. in biochemistry in 1983. At UCLA Kiraly led the
Bruins to three national titles - in years 1979, 1981 and 1982. He also
made his first appearance for the U.S. senior national team during his
years at UCLA.
Olympic Games - Indoor Volleyball Gold Medals for Kiraly
Team USA won Olympic gold medals in 1984 and 1988 with Kiraly. Already
then Kiraly become the legend all over the world and his status among
the famous volleyball players was set in stone. He was a team captain
for the 1988 Seoul Olympics in South Korea.
Kiraly was named by FIVB, the international governing body, as the best
volleyball player in the world in 1986 and 1988. Later in his career
Kiraly was also named 'Greatest Volleyball Player of the Century' by
After the second Olympic gold medal, Kiraly played professional
volleyball for Italian volleyball club Il Messaggero of Ravenna from
1990 to 1992. He won the World Club Championship with Il Messaggero in
1991 and was named MVP.
Olympic Games - Beach Volleyball Gold Medal for Kiraly
After the club volleyball in Italy, he retired from the indoor
volleyball and returned to the United States to play beach volleyball
full-time. Kiraly won a record 148 professional beach volleyball
Karch partnered with Kent Steffes to win the first men's Olympic beach
volleyball gold medal at Atlanta in 1996. His last beach volleyball
tournament win came in August 2005, when he won an AVP tournament in
Huntington Beach, California at the age of 44 with his partner Mike
Volleyball Hall of Fame, which is a tribute to the famous volleyball
players, inducted Karch Kiraly in 2001: "Kiraly is known for his
overall volleyball skill and his laser-like concentration. He plays
volleyball with a hard driven intensity. His competition is fierce but
not mean, his ability to shut the world out, legendary. He has an
uncanny ability to make the impossible plays and to turn a match
around." (Source: volleyball hall of fame).
You really can't describe him any better than that. Karch Kiraly is a
true volleyball legend, who retired his career in 2007.
Quick Facts about Karch Kiraly - One of the Most Famous
Name: Charles Kiraly, known as Karch Kiraly or Karch
Jersey Number: #15
Born: November 3, 1960 in Jackson, Michigan
Nationality: United States
Height: 189 cm - 6' 2"
Volleyball Position: Outside hitter
Spiking arm: Right
Resides: San Clemente, California
Family Status: wife Janna and two sons, Kristian and Kory.
Teams: US Indoor Olympic Volleyball Team, UCLA - University of
California Los Angeles, Il Messaggero of Ravenna - Italy
Beach Volleyball Partners: Mike Lambert, Kevin Wong, Adam Johnson, Kent
Steffes, Randy Stoklos, Sinjin Smith etc.
Nicknames: Karch, "Thunderball in Volleyball"
Skills: great overall skills, hard driven intensity, concentration,
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