Lang Ping

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

Lang Ping
Lang Ping.jpg
Personal information
NicknameIron Hammer (铁榔头/鐵榔頭)
Born (1960-12-10) 10 December 1960 (age 60)
Tianjin, China
HometownTianjin, China
Height1.84 m (6 ft 0 in)
Weight71 kg (157 lb)
College(s)Beijing Normal University
University of New Mexico

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 in volleyball history, male or female, to have won gold at the Olympics both as a player and as a coach.[3][4]

Lang Ping is the female lead in the 2020 biographical film Leap,[5] played by actress Gong Li.[6]

Personal lifeEdit

Lang Ping was born in Tianjin. She was married to the former Chinese national male handball team player "Frank" Fan Bai from 1987 to 1995. In 1992, they had a daughter named Lydia Lang Bai, who played volleyball for Stanford University[7] and played the young version of Lang Ping in the film Leap.[8] Lang is currently married to Wang Yucheng, a professor at the China Academy of Social Science.

In 1987, Lang moved to Los Angeles with her former husband Bai Fan (Frank) to study and served 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."[9] She maintains Chinese citizenship despite having lived in the U.S for more than 15 years.[10]


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.[11]

Legacy in ChinaEdit

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 sport team to win the World Championship multiple times, concluding with the 1984 Olympics. Lang was the star outside hitter on the team. She was awarded Chinese Top Ten Athletes of the year from 1981 to 1986. She is remembered as one of the first world champions for China.[12]


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.[11] 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 various honours and the coach of the year award multiple times. She was selected 1996 FIVB Coach of the Year.[2]

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.[13] 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.[14] She became the head coach of the China women's national volleyball team for the second time in 2013 and won 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.[15]

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 with the Chinese national team in Los Angeles 1984 and as the Chinese national team head coach in Rio 2016. On September 29, 2019, after China swept all eleven matches to defend the World Cup title, Lang Ping also became the first person to win the back-to-back World Cup champions both as a player(1981, 1985) and as a coach(2015, 2019).[16]

Coaching careerEdit

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



  • 1996 FIVB Coach of the Year

National teamEdit

As a player
  • 1981 World Cup -   Gold Medal
  • 1982 World Championship -   Gold Meda
  • 1984 Olympic Games Los Angeles -   Gold Medal
  • 1985 World Cup -   Gold Medal
  • 1990 World Championship -   Silver Medal
As a coach
  • 1995 World Cup -   Bronze Medal
  • 1996 Olympic Games Atlanta -   Silver Medal
  • 1998 World Championship -   Silver Medal
  • 2007 World Cup -   Bronze Medal
  • 2008 Olympic Games Beijing -   Silver Medal
  • 2014 World Championship -   Silver Medal
  • 2015 World Cup -   Gold Medal
  • 2016 Olympic Games Rio -   Gold Medal
  • 2018 World Championship -   Bronze Medal
  • 2019 World Cup -   Gold Medal


  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. ^ Davis, Rebecca (2020-09-26). "Gong Li Drama 'Leap' Opens to $8.2 Million in China". Variety. Retrieved 2021-02-11.
  6. ^ Chan, Peter Ho-Sun (2020-09-25), Duo guan (Drama, Sport), Gong Li, Bo Huang, Gang Wu, Yuchang Peng, retrieved 2021-02-11
  7. ^ "Lydia Bai - Women's Volleyball". Stanford University Athletics. Retrieved 2021-02-11.
  8. ^ Writer, Guest (2021-01-10). "Director Peter Chan and Actress Lydia Bai on the Technical and Political Challenges Behind China's Oscar Submission 'Leap'". Asian Movie Pulse. Retrieved 2021-02-11.
  9. ^ Townsend, Brad (2008-08-06). "Lang Ping left China for "normal life"". The Dallas Morning News. Retrieved 2008-08-19.
  10. ^ "Iron Hammer still pounding". China Daily. 2008-01-22. Retrieved 2008-08-19.
  11. ^ a b O'Halloran, Ryan (2008-08-15). "Lang Ping goes home". Washington Times. Retrieved 2008-08-19.
  12. ^ Lassen, David (2008-07-08). "U.S. women's volleyball coach an icon back in Beijing". Ventura County Star. Archived from the original on 2008-08-27. Retrieved 2008-08-19.
  13. ^ Wong, Edward (2008-08-15). "Ex-Chinese Star Guides U.S. to Win in Volleyball". New York Times. Retrieved 2008-08-16.
  14. ^ "Lang Ping not to extend US volleyball contract". 中国网. 2008-11-26. Retrieved 2008-11-26.
  15. ^ "Coaches Lang Ping and Kiraly, star players 30 years ago, face off in title match". FIVB. October 12, 2014.
  16. ^ "China crowned World Cup champions anew". FIVB. September 29, 2019.

External linksEdit

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