A native of Odessa, USSR, Valery Osipenko began pole vaulting in 1969 under the Soviet coach Boris Robulez. From 1978 to 1985 he trained at the Olympic reserve sports school of V. Alexeev in Leningrad under the Russian national pole vaulting coach Vanady Rosenfeld along with some of the top Russian pole vaulters. Osipenko achieved a career best of 17′ 8.5″ during this time. While training he also coached part-time at the sports school Kirovez in Leningrad. After completing his competitive career as an athlete, Osipenko taught in the Department of Physical Culture and coached track and field at the Leningrad Technological University.
In 1986 Osipenko attended a Lesgaft Order of Lenin and Order of the Red Banner State Institute of Physical Culture with a specialization in track and field.
After a 10-year break from coaching, Osipenko returned to the sport in 1998 by becoming a volunteer coach at Atlee High School in Mechanicsville, Va. Since then, he has coached two state champions and record holders and headed various clinics. He is also a frequent clinician at various camps nationally.