The rumors that had circled him for a decade, formed more ominous clouds in the last 12 months and became tangible clues Monday night, were substantiated Tuesday, when UCLA announced it had hired John Speraw away from the UC Irvine men's volleyball program.
For Speraw, a return to his roots meant tearing asunder a decade worth of foundation for what had become the nation's leading program, with three NCAA titles in the last six seasons.
But ultimately, despite continually touting Orange County as his version of volleyball heaven, home was, and now becomes again, Westwood, where he played and coached under the legendary Al Scates.
Speraw, 199-106 at UCI, which he guided to NCAA titles in 2012, 2009 and 2007, as well as a 2006 Final Four appearance, will take over for Scates, who retired after 50 seasons and 19 NCAA crowns.
"There were a few components to my decision making, but certainly one of those was being back on [the UCLA] campus and walking around, which I hadn't done in 10 years," Speraw said. "I have a great feel for the campus and the people there. It's the same personality, values and character as the people at Irvine, but this is a completely different financial situation [at UCLA]."