Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Pac-12 | Washington’s assistant coach search wrapping up

Also: More new hires; Sand expands

No announcement yet, but sources tell Volleyblog Seattle that the search for a new Washington volleyball assistant coach is winding down. An announcement could come before the Huskies begin spring practice on April 15.

Last month, longtime assistant Keno Gandara took the head job at the University of Miami. Since then, Washington head coach Jim McLaughlin has been swamped with inquiries from potential replacements. Sources say some were current head coaches looking to move up to a Pac-12 position. No candidate names have been officially released.

Seattle University's Dan Ahiers and Nick Petrovic
-Seattle University Athletics

New Seattle University head coach James Finley has completed his staff. Associate coach Nick Petrovic was Finley’s assistant at Virginia Commonwealth. Petrovic played his college ball in Belgrade, Serbia. Assistant coach Dan Ahiers comes to SU from UC Santa Barbara. Ahiers had coached under the legendary Kathy Gregory, who retired after 38 years at UCSB. Gregory was replaced by Lantagne Welch, whose departure from Miami opened the door for Washington’s Gandara. Dominoes!

Northwest University's
Steve Bain
-Northwest U Athletics

In Kirkland, Steve Bain takes over the program at Northwest University. He moves over from Seattle’s King’s High School, where he posted a 117-10 regular season record and won two 1A state championships. His King’s players included former UW All-American Bianca Rowland. Northwest U is a private school and a member of the NAIA’s Cascade Collegiate Conference.

USA's John Speraw and Matt Fuerbringer
-USA Volleyball

At the international level, UCLA men’s head coach John Speraw will do double duty as head of the USA Men’s National Team. Speraw’s assistant is former Stanford star Matt Fuerbringer.


Four Pac-12 schools now field intercollegiate sand volleyball teams, with Stanford, Cal and UCLA joining USC.

Stanford's Carly Wopat and Jordan Burgess (R)
defeat Santa Clara in an April 1 match in Palo Alto.
-Sean Christofferson, Stanford Daily
The Trojans were among 17 charter teams when the sport launched last season, mostly with schools from Southern California and Florida. The 2012 title was won by Pepperdine, led by former Washington indoor player Summer Ross. After spending the fall of her freshman year at UW, and the spring with Pepperdine, Ross left school to join the pro tour, where she is among the world’s best.

Among the 14 new schools this season, Nebraska is the biggest name outside the Pac-12. And the trend should continue next season, with Arizona already announcing it will field a team in 2014. Don’t be surprised if Washington is also on sand next year.

Sand volleyball, by the way, is officially an NCAA “demonstration sport.” Formal NCAA championships are only offered in sports with at least 40 participating schools. Until then, the championships are sponsored by the American Volleyball Coaches Association.

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