Mullera Poovayya Ganesh (born 8 July 1946) is a former Indian professional field hockey player. He was also captain and coach of the Indian team. He was awarded the Arjuna Award in 1973.

Personal life

Ganesh was born on 8 July 1946 in the Kodagu (earlier known as Coorg) district in Karnataka. He began his sports career with football and played for Coorg district from 1960 to 1964. He switched over to hockey when he joined the Indian Army and played in the hockey tournaments from 1966 – 1973. Ganesh has completed MA in English, Diploma in Sports Coaching from the National Institute of Sports, Patiala and Ph.D in Physical education.


Ganesh represented the Services in the National Hockey Championship from 1965 to 1973 and played for Bombay in the 1974 National Championship. He found a place in the Indian team in 1970. Ganesh played for India at the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich, finishing third. He was one of the coaches of the Indian team that won a gold medal at the 1980 Olympic Games in Moscow.

He twice represented India in the Asian Games, first in 1970 in Bangkok and then in 1974 in Tehran. Both the times India returned home with a Silver medal. He was in the Indian team that won Bronze at the first World Cup at Barcelona in 1971 and captained the team that won Silver at the next World Cup in Amsterdam. He played for India at the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich, finishing third and settling for a Bronze. He also played for World XI in 1972 and Asian XI from 1970 to 1974. Ganesh last played for India in 1974 after his career was cut short by a knee injury.

Ganesh was the official coach to the Indian team that participated in the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul, 1989 Champions Trophy in Berlin, 1990 Indira Gandhi International Hockey Tournament in Lucknow and the 1990 World Cup in Karachi. He was the Chairman, Coaching Committee, Indian Hockey Federation for the 1998 Commonwealth Games at Kuala Lumpur and the 1998 Asian Games at Bangkok. Then on, Ganesh has been playing the role of an administrator for various sports organisations.


  • Arjuna Award – 1973
  • Silver Jubilee Sports Award of Karnataka – 1981