Lang Ping

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Lang Ping
Lang Ping.jpg
Personal information
Nickname Iron Hammer
Nationality Chinese
Born (1960-12-10) 10 December 1960 (age 56)
Tianjin, China
Hometown Tianjin, China
Height 1.84 m (6 ft 0 in)
Weight 71 kg (157 lb)
College(s) Beijing Normal University
University of New Mexico

"Jenny" Lang Ping (Chinese: 郎平; pinyin: Láng Píng; born 10 December 1960) is a former Chinese volleyball player and the former head coach of the United States women's national volleyball team and the current head coach of China women's national volleyball team, herself being the MVP of women volleyball in 1984 Olympics.[1]

In 2002, she became an inductee of the Volleyball Hall of Fame in Holyoke, Massachusetts.[2] She coached the U.S. National team to a silver medal in at the 2008 Beijing Olympics in her home country and the gold medal Chinese team at the 2016 Rio Olympics, became the first person, male or female, to have won gold at the Olympics both as a player and as a coach.[3][4]


Lang Ping was born in Tianjin. She moved to Los Angeles with her former husband Bai Fan (Frank) to study and serve as an assistant volleyball coach at the University of New Mexico. When asked of her move, she said she wanted "to taste a normal life."[5] She was married to former Chinese national male handball team player "Frank" Fan Bai from 1987 to 1995. In 1992, they had a daughter named Lydia Lang Bai. Her daughter, a former member of Stanford women's volleyball team, graduated in June 2014 and has been working as investment banking analyst at Jefferies Group since January 2015.[6][7] Lang Ping is currently married to Wang Yucheng who is a professor at China Academy of Social Science.

She maintains Chinese citizenship despite living in the U.S for more than 15 years.[8]


Lang was a member of the Chinese National Team that won the Gold Medal over the United States at the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, California. She was also a member of the team that won World Championship crown in 1982 in Peru and World Cup titles in 1981 and 1985.[9]

Legacy in China[edit]

Owing to her central role in the success of the Chinese women's volleyball team in the 1980s, Lang was seen as a cultural icon and is one of the most respected people in modern Chinese sports history. At the end of the 1976 Cultural Revolution, China re-joined the sporting world. Though the Chinese ping-pong team won competitions internationally, ping-pong had always been considered a Chinese expertise. Lang and the women's volleyball team was the first team sport to win the World Championship multiple times, concluding with the 1984 Olympics. Lang was the star outside hitter on the team. She will always be remembered as one of the very first world champions for China.[10]


Lang Ping was an assistant coach at the University of New Mexico from 1987–89 and 1992-93.[2]

In 1995, Lang became the head coach of the Chinese national team and eventually guided the squad to the silver medal at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia and second place at the 1998 World Championships in Japan.[9] Lang Ping resigned from the Chinese national team in 1998 due to health reasons. In the following year, she took a head coaching position in the Italian professional volleyball league and enjoyed great success there, winning the league championship and the coach of the year award multiple times.

She became the coach of the US National Team in 2005. Lang guided the team to the 2008 Olympics, where the US team faced off with China in her home country. The US team defeated China 3-2. Then Chinese and US presidents, Hu Jintao and George W. Bush, attended the match.[11] The match drew 250 million television viewers in China alone. The team went on to win the silver medal, losing to Brazil in the finals 3-1. Lang allowed her contract to run out later that year, citing that she wanted to coach a club so as to spend more time with her family.[12] She is the head coach of the China women's national volleyball team, winning the World Cup in Japan in 2015. In 2014, she was the only female head coach among the 24 teams in the FIVB World Championship.[13]

On August 21, 2016, Lang Ping guided the Chinese national team to the gold medal at 2016 Rio Olympics. With this victory, Lang Ping became the first person in volleyball history, male or female, to win a gold medal at the Olympic Games as a player (Chinese national team) in (1984 Los Angeles) and as a head coach (Chinese national team) in (2016 Rio). Lang Ping also became the first person to win gold as both a player and a coach in Olympic Games and World Cup.

Coaching career[edit]

Club/Team Country year
Chinese NT China China 1995 - 1998
Volley Modena Italy Italy 1999 - 2002
Asystel Novara Italy Italy 2002 - 2004
Pieralisi Jesi Italy Italy 2005
USA NT United States United States 2005 - 2008
Telecom Ankara Turkey Turkey 2008 - 2009
Guangdong Evergrande China China 2009 - 2014
Chinese NT China China 2013 - 2017
2017 - (as mentor)

Major titles[edit]


  • Chinese Top Ten Athletes of the year, 1981-1986
  • FIVB Coach of the Year, 1996[2]


  1. ^ Tabuchi, Hiroko (2008-08-09). "Return of the "Iron Hammer"". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 2008-08-19. 
  2. ^ a b c "China's Lang Ping gets U.S. volleyball post". USA Today. 2005-02-08. Retrieved 2008-08-19. 
  3. ^ "Lang Ping becomes first person in volleyball to win Olympic gold as player and coach". FIVB. August 21, 2016. 
  4. ^ Zuo, Mandy. "Volleyball visionary: coach Lang Ping worth her weight in gold – and more". South China Morning Post. Retrieved 2016-08-22. 
  5. ^ Townsend, Brad (2008-08-06). "Lang Ping left China for "normal life"". The Dallas Morning News. Retrieved 2008-08-19. 
  6. ^ "Lydia Bai Bio". 
  7. ^ "Lydia Bai - LinkedIn". 
  8. ^ "Iron Hammer still pounding". China Daily. 2008-01-22. Retrieved 2008-08-19. 
  9. ^ a b O'Halloran, Ryan (2008-08-15). "Lang Ping goes home". Washington Times. Retrieved 2008-08-19. 
  10. ^ Lassen, David (2008-07-08). "U.S. women's volleyball coach an icon back in Beijing". Ventura County Star. Retrieved 2008-08-19. 
  11. ^ Wong, Edward (2008-08-15). "Ex-Chinese Star Guides U.S. to Win in Volleyball". New York Times. Retrieved 2008-08-16. 
  12. ^ "Lang Ping not to extend US volleyball contract". 中国网. 2008-11-26. Retrieved 2008-11-26. 
  13. ^ "Coaches Lang Ping and Kiraly, star players 30 years ago, face off in title match". FIVB. October 12, 2014. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Japan Toshi Yoshida
United States women's national volleyball team coach
Succeeded by
New Zealand Hugh McCutcheon