Orange Coast College’s women’s volleyball assistant coach Adrian Delgado had a summer most in his position might envy -- he traveled as an assistant coach to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil for the 2016 Summer Olympics with the Mexican National Men's Volleyball Team
“It was a great experience,” Delgado said. “You don’t get a lot of chances to participate in an event like this.”
Prior to this year, the last time the Mexican National Team qualified for the Olympics was in 1968, in Mexico City, Mexico. This year marked the second time in team history that the Mexican National Team played in the summer games.
The responsibilities that Delgado had for the Mexican National Team were analyzing and breaking down stats for the players and coaches.
“The best thing that happened for us (Mexico) in Rio was that we took a set off of Brazil (the host country),” Delgado said.
According to Delgado, when Mexico took a set off of Brazil, the 20,000-plus fans of Brazil fell dead silent. That set however, turned out to be the last set Mexico won, including not winning a match out of pool play.
Delgado and the team still enjoyed the experience playing in the summer Olympics.
Delgado, who has been an assistant coach at OCC for 26 years, started playing volleyball in the third grade when his teacher, a former volleyball player, took them out to play during P.E. According to Delgado, most of the other kids in the third grade learned how to play soccer, but his teacher decided to teach them how to play volleyball.
Delgado played in junior high school and high school but didn’t play in college because he thought he was too short.
Delgado was first hired as a student-assistant coach for the OCC’s women’s volleyball team in 1989. In 1990, he became a full-time assistant coach when Chuck Cutenese, the current coach of OCC’s women’s volleyball team, took over.
“The one word I can describe Adrian as is dedicated. He has proven that time and time again,” Cutenese said. “Adrian being a part of the Mexican National Team is historical considering their last appearance was in 1968. Very few people get to be a part of history.”
OCC’s men’s volleyball coach Travis Turner said that Delgado is a huge asset to Cutenese and OCC.
“Adrian’s work ethic is amazing. He continually tries to get better as an assistant coach, and having other experiences like that really helps,” Turner said.
When the 52-year old Delgado is not helping Cutenese and OCC out, he is the club director for the Baja volleyball boys and girls club in Tijuana, Mexico.