KHUJAND, July 11, 2011, Asia-Plus -- Former US volleyball coach, Iradge Ahrabi-Fard, and three other sports specialists from the United States are currently conducting training on development of youth sports in the northern city of Qairoqqum for their Tajik colleagues, Parviz Poulodov, coordinator of the international sports initiative program in Tajikistan, said in an interview with Asia-Plus.

According to him, Tajik specialists in volleyball, basketball, soccer, athletics and mountain tourism from all regions of the country are participating in the training workshop that began on July 8 and runs through July 17.

Mr. Iradge Ahrabi-Fard coached 19 years at the University of Northern Iowa and helped the Panthers make a successful transition from NCAA Division II competition to Division I.  During his tenure at UNI, he compiled a 503-142 (.780) record and recorded at least 20 victories in 17 of 19 years.  After guiding the Panthers to a 31-1 record in 1999 and a berth in the NCAA Division I Tournament Sweet 16, he was named the AVCA National Coach of the Year and received the inaugural AVCA Excellence in Education Award.

Ahrabi-Fard was voted the AVCA District Coach of the Year in 1985 and 1999 and was the conference coach of the year six times, twice for the Gateway Conference and four-times in the Missouri Valley Conference.   In 1997, he took a leave of absence to serve as a consultant for USA Volleyball and the development of its teams.