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Pac 12 Volleyball news- Washington coach McLaughlin leaving to coach at Notre Dame

Discussion in 'University of Colorado News and Olympic Sports' started by AztecBuff, Jan 16, 2015.

  1. AztecBuff

    AztecBuff Club Member Club Member

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    Probably not very interesting to any but the biggest of volleyball fans on this board, but per http://seattletimes.com/html/huskies/2025480801_uwvolleyball10xml.html (and rumored in the volleytalk forum for over a week), U. Of Washington Head Coach Jim McLaughlin, probably the most respected Pac 12 volleyball coach, and considered one of the VERY best in the country, is going to be taking over the open head coaching position at the University of Notre Dame.

    Notre Dame has been going through tough times, so interesting he's taking on a rebuilding project (at ~55 years old) when he's already built one of the top 5-6 programs in the country. (The Irish were 6-23 overall this year and 3-15 in conference (ACC) play, and 13-18 and 7-13 the year before.) Looking at his biography, he was an assistant coach in South Bend for one year back in 1996, although it looks like he was mostly a Southern California guy overall before heading to rainy Seattle. (Born in Malibu, college at UC- Santa Barbara, coached at Pepperdine and USC. Although, he was also at K State a few years.)

    I’d say this is a very surprising move in pure sport terms - kind of equivalent to Arizona’s bball coach Sean Miller hypothetically leaving AZ to coach at a lower or mid level SEC bball school like Vanderbilt or Auburn, or if Jim Mora left UCLA to coach at someplace like Indiana.
    Guesses in volleytalk say non-sport reasons for the move could include- wife went to ND and might still have family in the area, wanting his kids to get a free Notre Dame education, religious component (he's evidently a devout Catholic), and/ or he might be getting more money (with of course a $ going a lot farther in South Bend than Seattle, especially for housing).

    One possible reason for the move that could also be relevant to the Buffs is some in Volleytalk guessing that Coach McLaughlin was getting frustrated losing out recently to Stanford, USC, Texas, etc. on most of the big time California recruits, with that state being Washington’s/ McLaughlin’s traditional main source for talent. (He has been thought to have an informal “pipeline” with one of the top So. Cal. Clubs from which he’s gotten many of his star recruits.) If HE was having problems getting California recruits, this might explain why CU (which of course is not yet nearly the volleyball power Washington is) seems to be getting as many recruits from the Midwest and Texas as the Golden State. (With volleyball talent nowadays, I get the feeling the Midwest has become at least as fertile a recruiting ground as California. Not that’s CA is totally to be ignored of course- looks like in a couple of their lists this year, the main volleyball ranking website rated 21 in its top 100 senior list and 10 in its top 50 juniors list as being from California.)

    Be interesting to see how this affects the Huskies going forward. Unlike the other perennial Pac 12 powers Stanford, USC and occasionally UCLA, which have long standing traditions of excellence with multiple coaches having success at these universities, Coach McLaughlin can be seen to personally have helped make Washington volleyball into what it is. Prior to his arrival, the Huskies only ended up ranked in the Top 25 4 times in the 1st 20 years of NCAA volleyball era (which started in 1981) , with the highest ranking being 9th. from 2003 (2 years after his 2001 arrival), the Huskies have ended up ranked every year (11 years straight), including a national championship in 2005, 6 years in the Top 5, and 9 years in the top 10. The worse year the Huskies have had from 2003 was when they "only" ended up ranked #17 in 2011.

    The Husky success since McLaughlin’s arrival also has also been big for attendance (shocking I know- wins help = better attendance). It looks like the last year before his arrival (and the 1st year he was there when they still lost a lot), the Huskies only averaged ~630 fans per home game. In the last few years, looks like they averaged between 2400-3400 per game.

    Mainly as a Buff fan, Hope this doesn't dilute Pac 12 volleyball too much, with the Big 10 already challenging if not bypassing the Pac 12 (depends on the year) as the mythical “best” volleyball conference, and the Buffs always wanting to compete against the best. Assume with the Huskies remaining talent (including a good freshman class this past year), recent success and Seattle being a pretty great city, UW should be an attractive destination for some other top coach, so hopefully they’ll stay strong. Of course, whoever comes in as coach will 1[SUP]st[/SUP] have to work to keep the current players and committed recruits in Seattle. (Of course, if any of the top ones want to come to Boulder, I’m sure they’ll be welcomed here if there’s room. Volleytalk says the Huskies may have already lost one top 2016 recruit who was at least possibly leaning towards Washington, as she recently committed to the Oregon Ducks.)
     
  2. cmgoods

    cmgoods Olympic Sports Mod Club Member

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    It's a very surprising move. The article said that he wanted to get back to the midwest to be closer to family, but who knows if that is true.
     
  3. AztecBuff

    AztecBuff Club Member Club Member

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    The U. of Washington has now issued an official release - http://www.gohuskies.com/ViewArticle.dbml?DB_OEM_ID=30200&ATCLID=209853129 . (interesting to me- nothing on Notre Dame's webpage yet- assuming they're waiting for a press conference next week?)

    The headline "McLaughlin Returning To Roots At Notre Dame" is pretty funny to me; I wouldn't call going back to a college he was an assistant at in the mid 1990's for one year very deep "roots". The article itself indicates to me this move may have been mainly to make/ keep his wife happy- not that there's anything wrong with that.

    Also, wanted to mention (mainly since I'm always curious about what coaches make in various sports)- there's no indication in Volleytalk what Coach McLaughlin might be making at Notre Dame, and I assume since it's a private school, it may never be made public. Someone in Volleytalk did say he was making $303K at Washington. It was interesting to me also that someone in Volleytalk said probably the highest paid volleyball coach, at least in base pay (not including extras like earnings from camps, etc., which I understand can be pretty big $'s), is Coach Cook at Nebraska, who makes ~$427K per year.
     
  4. Buffnik

    Buffnik Real name isn't Nik Club Member Junta Member

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    That's a big loss for UDub.
     
  5. AztecBuff

    AztecBuff Club Member Club Member

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    UDub chooses new vball coach

    http://www.gohuskies.com/ViewArticle.dbml?DB_OEM_ID=30200&ATCLID=209865520

    Well, just to "complete the story" of this thread, Washington has decided to go YOUNG witb their new coach, choosing their prior (2nd tierl) asst. coach Keegan Cook as their new head coach.

    Based on his appearance and graduation year (2007 per the article), he could be around 30 and, more importantly, this will be his 1st head coaching job at any level. It will be interesting to see how it turns out.

    One big positive for him is that the prior VERY respected Dawg Assoc. Hesd coach Leslie Gabriel, who per volleytalk probably was a/ the 1st choice of the current WA coaches, but probably wasn't interested because of her having 3 young children, will be staying on the staff in Seattle.
     

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