John Speraw with UC Irvine in 2009. (UC Irvine )
John Speraw, who coached UC Irvine to the 2012 NCAA men's volleyball championship, was named UCLA's head coach on Tuesday.
"We are excited to welcome John Speraw back to Westwood to take the reins of the men's volleyball program," Athletic Director Dan Guerrero said. "After winning three national titles as a head coach at UC Irvine and two as a player at UCLA, he certainly knows what it takes to win at the highest level. In addition, as a former Bruin assistant coach and student-athlete, he knows first-hand the values and ideals we hold near and dear as an athletic department and as an institution."
Speraw, 40, assumes the duties of his collegiate mentor, Al Scates, who is retiring after 50 years as the Bruins' head coach.
"I'm confident that John Speraw is the right man to lead UCLA men's volleyball into the next era," Scates said. "He has proven himself to be an outstanding coach both collegiately and internationally. UCLA is privileged to have him."
Speraw has also been successful on the international level, serving as an assistant coach with the United States men's team that won the gold medal at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. In May, the U.S. men qualified for the 2012 Games in London, and Speraw will serve as assistant coach once again.
"It is a great honor to be asked to lead one of the greatest programs in NCAA sports history," said Speraw. "Al Scates is a great friend and mentor. I hope to continue his legacy of producing great championship teams.
"As I walked around campus last week, I remembered why I chose UCLA years ago. I love the campus," Speraw said. "I love the people at UCLA and the values that we share. I loved my experiences as a student-athlete and a young coach and am very much looking forward to my experiences as a head coach at my alma mater. This is indeed home and I am excited to be back."
Speraw played middle blocker for the Bruins from 1990 to 1995 and was a member of two national championship teams.
Photos: Stanley Cup Final
L.A. is ready to crown these Kings
It's a polished effort as Kings close in on Stanley Cup