UC Irvine’s Speraw: Interested in U.S. head coach job for future Olympics

UC Irvine coach John Speraw would like the chance to be the head coach of the U.S. Men’s Volleyball National Team for the 2016 or future Olympics.

Speraw said Monday on the weekly volleyball radio show “The Net Live” that he would like to be the United States’ head coaching when the position becomes open for a future Olympics.


“I don’t know what the timing would be for me and when I would coach this team, but I know that I would like to,” Speraw said.

Speraw is entering his 10th season as UC Irvine’s head coach and led the Anteaters to the program’s first NCAA championships in 2007 and 2009. In addition, the Anteaters are ranked No. 1 in this week’s national coaches poll after winning the UC Santa Barbara Invitational on Saturday.

Along with coaching UC Irvine, Speraw was an assistant coach for the United States when it won the gold medal at the 2008 Olympics. He also returned to the team in August to be an assistant on head coach Alan Knipe’s coaching staff for the 2012 Olympics.

“It’s been a really great experience being back. I think the fact that I have an understanding of what this job is, the differences in the game, understanding how to travel and learning how to be good at traveling — because that’s a skill — I’m much better off doing this job now and feel good about it,” Speraw said. “I think if I look down the road and maybe be involved with the national team at the [head] coaching level, I think it’s something that will happen to me at some point. I hope.”

USA Volleyball traditionally hires a new head coach for each Olympics.

It also tends to hire college head coaches to be the head coach of its Olympics teams. Knipe was the head coach at Long Beach State before taking a leave of absences from the school in 2009 when he hired to coach the United States for the 2012 Olympics.

Speraw in the interview also praised Knipe for working with him to create a flexible schedule so he could coach both UC Irvine and the United States this year.

“I was pretty burnt out at end of the last quad and at the end of Beijing,” Speraw said. “Alan was great and came to me last year to see if I would be interested in helping out with their stretch run. Initially I was thinking about it and wasn’t interested at first. I knew how taxing it was to hold both jobs, but he came back and said what if we set it up the way I want to set it up. He was great.”

For the complete interview with UC Irvine coach John Speraw, check out “The Net Live” podcast.