Tuesday, 23 Jul 2024

Remembering Mike Hulett: A Legendary Coach and Inspiration

Mike Hulett

It is with a heavy heart that we share the news of the passing of Mike Hulett, a beloved coach and mentor to the U.S. Men’s and Women’s National Sitting Volleyball Teams. Mike’s incredible journey, from being a quadruple amputee confined to a wheelchair to becoming a successful coach, serves as an inspiration to athletes and leaders within the sport of volleyball.

A Life of Perseverance and Triumph

At the age of 13, Mike was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes. However, this did not deter his spirit or love for the game. In fact, it was his indomitable attitude that propelled him to the highest levels of the sport. Despite his physical challenges, Mike’s determination and passion for volleyball shone through, making him an inspiration to all who knew him.

Coaching Success and Paralympic Triumphs

Mike began his Paralympic coaching career in the mid-1990s as the head coach of the U.S. Men’s Sitting Volleyball Team. He led the team to the Atlanta Paralympics in 1996 and the Sydney Paralympics in 2000. In 2003, he played a crucial role in the formation of the U.S. Women’s Sitting Volleyball Team.

Under Mike’s guidance, the team faced initial struggles but quickly developed into a formidable force in international competitions. The highlight of their journey came in 2004 when they clinched the bronze medal at the Paralympic Games in Athens. This achievement led to Mike being honored as the 2004 U.S. Olympic Committee Paralympic Coach of the Year.

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Mike’s legacy continued to grow as he led the U.S. Women’s Sitting Team to the title match at the 2008 Paralympic Games in Beijing. Through increased recruiting efforts, international competition, and his visionary approach, he transformed the team into a world power.

Impact Beyond Coaching

In addition to his coaching accomplishments, Mike made significant contributions to the volleyball community. He served on the Great Lakes Region Board of Directors, representing junior boys volleyball at USA Volleyball meetings. In 1997, he was presented with the Junior Volleyball Outstanding Clinician award, followed by the George J. Fisher Leader in Volleyball award in 2001.

Outside of his coaching endeavors, Mike owned and operated Adversity VBC, a highly regarded junior volleyball club based in Chicago’s northern suburbs. This club not only provided a platform for young athletes to develop their skills but also embodied Mike’s life philosophy of overcoming adversity.

Honoring a Legend

Recognizing his extraordinary achievements and dedication, Mike Hulett was named the recipient of USA Volleyball’s 2012 Harold T. Friermood “Frier” Award for lifetime achievement. This prestigious award stands as a testament to his lasting impact on the sport and the lives he touched.

It is impossible to quantify the profound influence Mike had on the volleyball community. His unwavering spirit, resilience, and ability to overcome obstacles serve as an example to us all. He taught us that we have a choice in how we respond to adversity and that we should never let circumstances define us.


Q: Where and when will the memorial service be held for Mike Hulett?
A: The memorial service will take place at Adversity Volleyball Club (710 Corporate Woods Parkway, Vernon Hills, IL 60061) on May 14 at 7:30 p.m. CT, following the viewing at 4 p.m. CT.

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Q: How can I learn more about Mike Hulett’s coaching career?
A: To discover more about Mike’s remarkable coaching journey and his impact on the sport of volleyball, visit Alpinetgheep.


Mike Hulett’s legacy will forever be etched in the annals of volleyball history. His extraordinary coaching career, unwavering determination, and ability to inspire others make him a true legend. Though he may have left us physically, his spirit lives on in the hearts of those he touched. Mike Hulett will always be remembered as a trailblazer, mentor, and source of unwavering strength.