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NCAA Men's Volleyball Championship Notebook: Speraw to take his time

May 02, 2012|By Barry Faulkner

UC Irvine men's volleyball coach John Speraw addressed the media Wednesday at USC's Galen Center, in preparation for the Anteaters' semifinal match against Penn State in the NCAA Championship on Thursday at 6 p.m.

Inevitably, he was asked about his future and a potential move to UCLA to replace Al Scates, who retired after 50 seasons with the Bruins.

And while Speraw said he has been and would continue to concentrate solely on his team's attempt to win its third NCAA title in six years, he did say there would be no dramatic announcement this weekend about staying or leaving, whether the No. 1-seeded 'Eaters add to their 2007 and 2009 national championships or not.

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"I won't even know [because] I haven't talked to anybody," Speraw said. "I haven't been able to do that."

Speraw said the process leading to his decision would take a couple months after the season.

But USC Coach Bill Ferguson, however, offered his assessment of Speraw's situation.

"He and I have talked about it a few times throughout the year," Ferguson said. "It's going to be interesting to see where he goes and how he does it."

Ferguson sounded almost envious of Speraw's stature on the UCI campus.

"He's kind of a big deal over there and that's hard to be in this business," Ferguson said. "At one point, [Speraw] made a comment: 'You know I had breakfast with the chancellor.' I don't know how many volleyball coaches have that kind of relationship with their upper-level management. I know he has faculty housing and he has a sweet deal.

"I think it's all going to be decided on how he prioritizes things," Ferguson said, noting that Speraw's ability to coach the men's national team in the 2016 Olympics is also a leading component to his decision. "He's got three entities that he's talking about [UCI, UCLA and the national team], so how will he leverage them against each other and try to figure out the best deal for him?"

Ferguson suggested Speraw may even take a break from college coaching to concentrate on leading the national team.

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