John Speraw enters his third season as head coach at his alma mater in 2014-15. He was named UCLA’s third head coach on June 5, 2012 and assumed the duties of his collegiate mentor, Al Scates, who retired after 50 years as the Bruins’ head coach. He is the only individual to win a title as a head coach, assistant coach and player in collegiate men’s volleyball history. Speraw, 43, also serves as the head coach for the U.S. Men’s National Volleyball Team, a position to which he was named on Mar. 25, 2013.
In 2014, Speraw’s Bruin team peaked at #1 in the AVCA polls after winning the Outrigger Hotels Invitational and posting a win over then top-ranked Stanford. Multiple injuries led to several lineup adjustments and the team finished tied for fifth in the MPSF with a 15-9 league record. Late wins over Long Beach and BYU down the stretch helped rally the team for post-season. However, the Bruins dropped a five-setter at UC Santa Barbara in the opening round of the league tournament to finish with an 18-11 overall mark.
Three players earned AVCA All-America recognition - Gonzalo Quiroga - 1st team; Spencer Rowe and Robart Page - HM. Each earned All-MPSF honors as well. Rowe repeated as a Capital One third-team Academic All-America selection. Mitch Stahl and Jackson Bantle made the MPSF All-Freshman unit.
In 2013, Speraw won his 200th career collegiate match, defeating UCSB on Jan. 4, 2013 in his first regular season match as coach at UCLA. Speraw guided the Bruins to a 21-11 overall record and a fourth place finish in the rugged MPSF, where UCLA compiled a 16-8 conference record. Team accomplishments included a tournament championship at the Outrigger Hotels Invitational, league sweeps over rivals USC and Pepperdine and a first-round MPSF playoff victory — the Bruins’ first since 2006.
Individually, UCLA produced a pair of AVCA All-Americans in first-team selection Gonzalo Quiroga and second-team choices Spencer Rowe and Evan Mottram. All three players also earned All-MPSF honors.
In addition, Rowe became the first UCLA men’s volleyball player in 13 years to earn CoSIDA Academic All-America honors. He also joined Mottram on the All-MPSF Academic Team.
In the summer of 2014, Coach Speraw guided the U.S. men’s volleyball team to an upset win over top-ranked and three-time reigning World champion Brazil in the FIVB World League gold-medal match. Brazil had won gold or silver at each of the last three Olympics. Later that summer, the National Team saw their run at the FIVB World Championship end with a loss to Argentina The U.S. finished with an overall record of 6-4, including three wins over teams ranked among the top six in the world.
In his first summer as head coach of the U.S. National Team, Speraw piloted the USA to the second round of the 2013 World League competition. In November 2013, Speraw coached Team USA to a fifth place finish at the FIVB Grand Champions Cup in Japan.
Prior to his appointment as the USA’s head coach, Speraw enjoyed a wide variety of experience and success on the international level, serving as an assistant coach with the U. S. Men’s National Team that won the gold medal at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.
In 2011, he was given the U.S. Olympic Achievement Award, an honor that recognizes the colleges and universities whose coaches and student-athletes have won Olympic medals in the past two Olympiads.
Speraw also served as assistant coach to Alan Knipe for the 2012 U.S. Men’s Olympic Team, which finished fifth after winning its pool. Earlier that year, he returned as the assistant coach for the FIVB World League and filled in as head coach for the 2012 World League team for four oversees pool play matches. The U.S. men won the silver medal in the FIVB World League Final Round.
Speraw joined the U.S. men’s staff in 2007, serving under Head Coach Hugh McCutcheon. After winning the gold medal, Speraw worked with the U.S. Men as needed, including a stint as the head coach of a young team that finished fifth at the 2011 Pan American Games.
In 2005, Speraw served as head coach of the U.S. Men’s Junior National Volleyball Team that won the silver medal at the NORCECA Men’s Junior (U-21) Continental Volleyball Championship.
He also served as an assistant for the U.S. Boys’ Youth National Team (1998 and 2001), the World University Games Team (1997 and 1999) and the Pan American Games Team (1999 and 2007).
For 10 seasons, Speraw served head coach at UC Irvine and transformed the program into a national power. Under his direction, the Anteaters won three NCAA titles in his final six years and advanced to the NCAA Championship match a total of four times, won two MPSF regular season titles and a pair of MPSF Tournament championships.
In 2009, Speraw guided the UCI team to a 27-5 overall record and ended the year ranked No. 1 in the country. The Anteaters were ranked No. 1 for eight weeks, the most of any team in the nation that season. UCI also captured the MPSF regular season title.
With UCI’s first national championship in 2007, Speraw became the only individual to win a title as a head coach, assistant coach and player in collegiate men’s volleyball history.
Along with the national championship in 2007, Speraw’s team also won its first MPSF tournament championship, ended the year with the No. 1 ranking and recorded a school record 29 victories, a win total that was the best among all NCAA Division I-II schools that season,
Speraw was named 2006 AVCA National Coach of the Year as well as MPSF and Volleyball Magazine Coach of the Year. He has been a finalist for National Coach of the Year three times.
In 2006, The Anteaters claimed their first-ever regular season MPSF title, finishing with a 20-2 league record. The team won a school-record 21 consecutive matches to end the regular season and held the top ranking for eight consecutive weeks.
Speraw, who compiled a 199-106 (.652) overall record at UCI, mentored both the AVCA Division I-II Men’s National Player of the Year and the AVCA Division I-II Men’s Newcomer of the Year in 2006. UC Irvine players earned All-America distinction 21 times during Speraw’s tenure at UCI, including nine first-teamers. While at Irvine, Speraw’s players also captured MPSF Player of the Year, MPSF Freshman of the Year, NCAA Championship MVP, NCAA All-Tournament Team, numerous national and conference Player of the Week honors as well as academic distinctions such as Academic All-American, MPSF & UCI Scholar-Athletes and Lauds & Laurels Athlete of the Year.
Speraw, who had a team ranked No. 1 in five different seasons at UCI, placed the Anteaters in the Top 10 of the final rankings all but one year while at the helm at Irvine.
In 2008, he received a Pillar Award, which showcases outstanding achievement in ethical leadership at the 12th Annual Ethics in America Awards. Speraw was also named to OC METRO Business Magazine’s 18th annual list of the Hottest 25 Business People of Orange County and was tabbed No. 16 in the Daily Pilot’s 2007 Top 103 Most Influential People in the Newport/Costa Mesa Area. Speraw was on the Most Influential list his last four years at UCI, including the Sports Newsmaker of the Year in 2006.
Prior to his appointment at UC Irvine, Speraw was involved with UCLA’s program for 12 years as a player and assistant coach. He lettered four seasons as a middle blocker, was a member of two NCAA championship teams (1993/1995), and earned NCAA All-Tournament honors for the Bruins in 1995.
As a senior in 1995, he started 29 matches as the Bruins rolled to a 31-1 record and swept Penn State for their 15th NCAA title. In the final against the Nittany Lions, Speraw hit .625 (11-1-16) with eight blocks. For the tournament, he hit .586 (18-1-29). In his four-year career, Speraw hit .421 with 394 kills. He boasted a career blocking average of 1.3 bpg.
After earning his undergraduate degree in microbiology and molecular genetics from UCLA in 1995, Speraw served three seasons (1996-98) as a volunteer assistant coach — while also working at the UCLA Hospital — before being elevated to a full-time position in the summer of 1998. He remained in that post until taking the UC Irvine job in 2002. Overall, he was involved with five NCAA title teams (1993, 95, 96, 98 and 2000) during his playing and coaching tenure at UCLA.
JOHN SPERAW'S COLLEGIATE COACHING RECORD