Friday, January 16, 2015

College | Jim McLaughlin confirms he is leaving Washington volleyball for Notre Dame

See The Seattle Times Sports section for full updates

Jim McLaughlin is leaving Washington for Notre Dame
-Volleyblog Seattle photo by Leslie Hamann
Jim McLaughlin, a coach who built the University of Washington volleyball program into a national power, has confirmed reports by Volleyblog Seattle and The Seattle Times that he is leaving to become the head coach at Notre Dame.

After Volleyblog Seattle and The Seattle Times first published news Friday afternoon that McLaughlin had told players at both Washington and Notre Dame of his decision, McLaughlin and UW Athletic Director Scott Woodward confirmed the report.

“This was the most difficult decision I have ever had to make in my coaching career,” said McLaughlin in a prepared statement. “My wife, Margaret, is from the Midwest and all of her family is still there.  She has followed me across the country and we both decided that it was time to pursue opportunities in that part of the country.”

“Jim poured his heart and soul into building the Husky Volleyball program over the past fourteen years and has achieved unprecedented success,” said Woodward. “While I am disappointed to see Jim go and will miss working with him, he, Margaret and their three daughters carry with them my best wishes for success in their new endeavor.”

see The Seattle Times Sports section for full updates


  1. Jim do you really want us to blame your wife for this? Somethings sounds amiss.

    1. Reasons for Jim to leave:
      1. Salary
      2. His personal dream to coach Notre Dame
      3. Family

    2. Salary wasn't an issue, he was already in the top five for pay at over $300k a year plus substantial income from his camps. A dream to coach at ND may be tempered by leaving a national power to take over a 6-23 program and almost build from scratch with minimal fan support. That leaves family as the reason and UW really can't compete with that.

  2. It could be that her parents are needing her help or she wants to be closer before they pass away. I don't know her specific family situation, but that is a real thing for some families.

  3. Statement From Jim McLaughlin
    “This was the most difficult decision I have ever had to make in my coaching career. My wife, Margaret, is from the Midwest and all of her family is still there. She has followed me across the country and we both decided that it was time to pursue opportunities in that part of the country. The past fourteen years have been wonderful for me and my family. We could not have been treated any better by the university or the Seattle community. My children have all grown up here and it has been a great place to raise a family. I love the University of Washington and will cherish the time I spent here and the relationships that were forged over the past fourteen years. I cannot thank enough the university administrators and everyone in the athletic department who have always provided me with tremendous assistance and support. Scott Woodward has been fabulous to work for and has been willing to do whatever was needed to allow us to be successful. I have been extremely fortunate to have gotten the opportunity to work with some great people here including my assistant coaches and other support staff who did an exceptional job and were key to our success here. The fan support has been absolutely incredible and I want to thank the students who gave us a true home court advantage, the Seattle community who helped us become a perennial leader in attendance and all of the people who provided our program with personal as well as financial support that was invaluable to our success. People like Anne and Wayne Gittinger and Ben and Nancy Remak were so helpful and were great friends of the volleyball program. Coaching in the Pac-12 Conference has been a tremendous experience and I have nothing but the greatest respect and admiration for all of my fellow coaches. We knew we were going to face stiff competition and a well-coached team each and every match during the Pac-12 season. My passion is to coach volleyball and it was a joy to go to the gym every day and coach all of the wonderful players that have been in our program over the past fourteen years. The hardest part of leaving will be having to say good-bye to my outstanding assistant coaches, support staff and players. Leslie Gabriel has been my top assistant from Day 1 here and it is hard to imagine going to work now without having her right there with me. She is a special woman, a tremendous volleyball coach and a great friend. Keegan Cook has been a great addition to our staff and he is going to have an incredibly successful career as a coach. I will forever be grateful for the time I spent at the University of Washington and will leave with nothing but fond memories.”

  4. Da "Anonymous" again.

    Wanted to post it here than in the Seattle Times..the fringe group outside of the 'city':
    "Fifteen" AAs is incorrect.

    I count 14 AVCA (excluding HM--Orlandini)
    I count two VB Mag. (Perry and Gil)
    Jill Collymore made AA at the USVA Open Nationals too.

    So, yeah, Seventeen.

  5. This comes across as a sudden mid-life crisis sort of thing. The Coach makes good money and can travel to Indiana any time he wants, as can his wife. The UW seemed stunned for the past week and couldn't even write up a "statement from Jim McLaughlin". It does not appear that they have yet made much progress on a successor, and if they were planning to promote one of the assistants they would have done it over the past week. I'd like to know what McLaughlin really is thinking, but it looks as though we will never know. He has turned his back and slammed the door behind him.

    So I guess the only way to look is ahead. There's much more room downward than upward from where the program now stands. It would be interesting, if Jack and Leslie can do it, to see a summary of who in the world might be credible to keep the program moving upward.

  6. Too many haters out there. Life brings changes and that is a fact. Jim is my favorite volleyball coach and I am a big UW fan even though I don't live anywhere near Washington. It's always easier to judge others than to let them live thier lives. UW will be great because the seed has been planted there! Looking forward to the 2015 season!!!


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