Fans, media and an IHF expert group have cast their votes …and the winners are Ulrik Wilbek and Thorir Hergeirsson. Both have been elected IHF World Handball Coaches of the Year for the first time in their long and successful career.
Icelandic-born Hergeirsson (48), who is Norway’s head coach, won the voting in the category of women’s teams while Danish national team coach Wilbek (54) won the men’s competition.
Wilbek received 34% of all votes and ranked ahead of previous double award winner Claude Onesta (France, 27%), who had been voted IHF World Coach of the Year in 2009 and 2010. Valero Rivera (Spain), Eduardo Gallardo (Argentina) and Alfred Gislason (THW Kiel) obtained 13% of votes each.
Hergeirsson topped the ranking of the women’s coach competition with 32% ahead of Danish-born Morten Soubak (Brazil) and 2010 IHF World Coach Olivier Krumbholz (France), who both earned 23% of votes, Dragan Adzic (Montenegro/Buducnost Podgorica, 16%) and Fernando Eduardo (Angola, 6%).
Despite missing the Olympic semi-finals in London with his Danish team, Wilbek is highly decorated, claiming the 2012 European Championship title in Serbia after winning the silver medal at the 2011 World Championship in Sweden.
Hergeirsson fulfilled his dream with three gold medals won within 20 months: First his Norwegian women became European champions in 2010, then World champions in 2011 and last but not least claimed Olympic gold in 2012 at the London Olympics.
Portraits of the 2011 IHF World Coaches of the Year:
Thorir Hergeirsson (Norway):
Date of birth: 27 April 1964
Career: assistant coach of the Norwegian women’s national team from 2001 to 2009, head coach since 2009, before coach of men’s club team of Elverum and women’s club teams of Gjerpen and Naerbo
Achievements (as head coach): bronze medal at the 2009 World Championship, 2010 European champion, 2011 World champion, 2012 Olympic champion
Ulrik Wilbek (Denmark):
Date of birth: 13 April 1958
Career: coach of Danish women’s national team from 1991 to 1998 after coaching the Danish national youth team, coach of club team Viborg (women and men), coach of the men’s national team since 2005
Achievements: Olympic champion with Danish women’s team in 1996, 1997 World champion, 1996 European champion, European champion with Danish men’s team in 2008 and 2012, silver medal at 2011 World Championship with men’s team, bronze medal at 2007 World Championship, 2011 Champions League finalist with Viborg