Vangelis is a highly accomplished player and coach, with a glittering volleyball and beach volleyball career spanning over four decades. Since moving to the UK from his home country of Greece in 2009, he has had a massive impact and is widely acknowledged as the leading beach volleyball coach and one of the most prominent volleyball coaches in the country.
Vangelis got his first professional playing contract at the age of 17 when he signed for Messiniakos Volleyball Club in his hometown of Kalamata, Greece in 1983. He then spent 19 years in the Greek A1 professional league with the majority of those years at internationally renowned Panathinaikos with whom he won 2 National Championship titles. He also competed for the Greek National Team over 100 times in his career.
In 1989 Vangelis took a keen interest in beach volleyball and started competing in national and international events during the volleyball off-season. He competed in over 100 events from 1989 to 2002, winning one Greek National Championship in 1998 and having career-bests of 2nd place in the old O’Neill Tour and 7th place in the CEV European Tour.
As soon as he retired from professional volleyball and beach volleyball, Vangelis took to coaching and went straight to the highest national level in Greece. He coached in the Greek professional league for 6 years from 2002 to 2008, including a season in which he coached PAOK Salonica in the CEV European Cup. He also worked as a personal coach for several young Greek players who proceeded to have their own successful international careers both indoors and on the sand.
Upon moving to the UK in 2009, Vangelis became coach at Polonia London Volleyball Club and, in his first season, led the team to their first National Cup Final in 19 years. In his second season in charge, the team won the Super 8 Championships – their first National League title in 26 years. He has also been heavily involved in junior volleyball, having served as a coach at the American Community School in Egham and the American School of London. Additionally, he has provided his expert coaching to Flaming Six Volleyball Club, Wimbledon Volleyball Club, London Spikers Volleyball Club and many other schools and clubs in London.
As was always the case in his long and successful career, Vangelis continued to combine top level indoor volleyball with beach volleyball of the highest level. In 2011 and 2012, he served as head coach of the Great Britain beach volleyball team of Tom Lord & Robin Miedzybrodzki. He was also the Head Coach of the England Junior Men’s Beach Volleyball National Programme from 2011 to 2013 when Mark Kontopoulos took over the lead and, from 2010 to 2011, he served as Head Coach of the ever-growing and highly popular London Beach Volleyball Club.
In 2012, Vangelis became the Head Coach at LeAF Elite Athlete Academy in Bournemouth and the Head Coach of the Wessex VC Men’s 1st team, with whom he did the ‘double’ by winning both the Division 1 National League title and the prestigious National Cup. Since early 2013, after a change of playing partners, he has been the head coach of the Great Britain beach volleyball team of Tom Lord & Phil Smith and, in late 2013, he once again became the Head Coach of the England Junior Men’s Beach Volleyball National Programme.