Washington's Jim McLaughlin "certainly is a very interesting possibility" to coach either the U.S. men's or women's national team, says the USA Volleyball executive making the...

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Washington’s Jim McLaughlin “certainly is a very interesting possibility” to coach either the U.S. men’s or women’s national team, says the USA Volleyball executive making the hire.

McLaughlin “has credibility” as a men’s coach (he won the 1990 NCAA title at USC) or women’s coach (the Huskies just reached the Final Four for the first time), Doug Beal said yesterday.

“He’s certainly someone who is on a long list or even a shorter list,” Beal said. McLaughlin has coached U.S. women’s teams at the World University and Pan Am Games and has been a consultant for two U.S. men’s Olympic teams.

Meanwhile, UW is working on a new deal for McLaughlin, whose contract has expired. McLaughlin told The Times last week at the Final Four that he ultimately wants a national-team coaching job, but isn’t eager to move because his daughters are ages 6 and 4. Still, he acknowledged there might not be national-team openings in the future when he wants them.

“He’s a terrific guy,” added Beal, who talked informally to McLaughlin last week. Beal, who is stepping down as coach of the men’s national team to become CEO of USA Volleyball, said yesterday he would approach the UW administration as a courtesy before any serious talks took place.

Beal said there is “no fixed time frame” to fill either job. The first competition for the national teams is in June. The new coaches will coach in the 2008 Olympics.

The women’s coaching position is open because Toshiaki Yoshida accepted a position as a professor in Japan.

Beal isn’t scheduled to take over as CEO of USA Volleyball until Feb. 1.

McLaughlin, 44, inherited a UW team that was last in the Pac-10 four years ago and built the program into a national contender, reaching the Elite Eight in 2003 and the Final Four this year while winning Washington’s first Pac-10 title.

McLaughlin was named national coach of the year last week. Earlier, he had been named Pac-10 coach of the year for the second time in three seasons.

The Huskies were eliminated 3-1 by Stanford in the NCAA semifinals Thursday, then Stanford beat Minnesota 3-0 to win the national title on Saturday.

Craig Smith: 206-464-8279 or csmith@seattletimes.com