John Speraw will remain the head coach of the U.S. Men’s National Team beyond 2016 Olympics.
USA Volleyball announced Wednesday that John Speraw has agreed to a four-year contract extension throughout 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.
“This was something I definitely wanted to do for another four years,” Speraw said in a statement. “I’m honored and grateful that USA Volleyball felt the same way. It’s probably been a more successful quad than most people expected. I feel some of the decisions we’ve made about entrusting young players with a lot of responsibility and having them respond so well puts us in a wonderful position for the next four years.”
Speraw since becoming the program’s head coach in 2013 has guided the United States to the 2014 World League championship and the 2015 World Cup title, which clinch the U.S. a berth for upcoming Olympics. In addition, the United States is a combined 68-38 under Speraw.
Along with his USA Volleyball coaching position, Speraw has simultaneously served as the UCLA men’s volleyball head coach.
UCLA was ranked No. 1 in the national media poll and coaches poll throughout parts of the 2016 regular season and earned the program’s first NCAA Tournament berth in a decade. The Bruins also return all of their starters for the upcoming season.
“I’m incredibly grateful that UCLA has felt this is something that is good for me and they want to support me in my continued growth as a coach,” Speraw said. “I feel a deep sense of responsibility to both programs. If I was doing a disservice to either one, I wouldn’t have continued.”
Speraw will be the first person to serve as a U.S. head coach for back-to-back Olympic quadrennial since Doug Beal for the 2000 and 2004 Olympics. In addition, Speraw this summer in Rio will make his third Olympic appearance after serving as an assistant coach for the United States in 2008 and 2012.
Three-time Olympian outside attacker Reid Priddy said in a statement that retaining Speraw is critical to the United States because it creates consistency.
“We’ve had players stay in the system for a long time, but we really haven’t had a coach stay. I think that’s really important,” Priddy said. “I think the coach is extremely important in volleyball. I really think this is a great move.”
The United States and Speraw will continue to prepare for the Olympics as it begins World League play later this month. The United States is ranked No. 5 in the FIVB world rankings.