Washington coach Jim McLaughlin was named national coach of the year yesterday and is being mentioned as a candidate for head coach of either the U.S. men's or women's national...

Share story

LONG BEACH, Calif. — Washington coach Jim McLaughlin was named national coach of the year yesterday and is being mentioned as a candidate for head coach of either the U.S. men’s or women’s national team.

McLaughlin, 44, is experienced coaching both elite men and women. His 1990 USC men’s team won the NCAA championship.

Before yesterday’s match, McLaughlin acknowledged that coaching a U.S. national team is an eventual goal but said he would prefer it not happen at this point in his career.

“I would rather stay (at Washington) and do it later when my kids are older,” McLaughlin said. His daughters are 4 and 6.

UW athletic director Todd Turner is working on a new contract for McLaughlin.

McLaughlin acknowledged that there is no guarantee that a national-team post will be open when he would like it to be, an indication that he will explore the current situations.

Both U.S. Olympic coaches recently resigned. Toshi Yoshida resigned as women’s coach to accept a job as a professor in Japan, and Doug Beal resigned as men’s coach to become chief executive officer of USA Volleyball.

McLaughlin has international coaching experience as a three-time head coach of World University Games men’s teams, head coach of the 1991 Pan Am team and as a consultant for men’s Olympic teams of 1992 and 1996.

Washington finished last in the Pac-10 in 2000 before McLaughlin arrived for the 2001 season. This year’s team won the Pac-10 title, and McLaughlin was named the league’s coach of the year for the second time in three years. The Huskies made it to the Final Four for the first time this season and finished 28-3.

McLaughlin is 82-39 as UW coach.

Crowd watching

UW had a rooting section of about 100 plus a pep band.

Some of the fans were part of the Tuiasosopo clan. Assistant UW coach Leslie Tuiasosopo is the daughter of former Seahawk Manu Tuiasosopo, who grew up in Long Beach and starred at St. Anthony High School. His wife, Tina, was a two-sport standout at the school.

Manu and Tina attended last night’s match with sons Zach and Matt and California relatives.

Leslie played for the Huskies and also played professionally in Spain before joining the coaching staff four years ago.


• This is finals week at the UW, and some players have taken finals on the trip under the eye of a proctor.

• The doors to the UW players’ hotel rooms were decorated yesterday with signs that read, “It’s a Great Day to be a Dawg” with purple and gold ribbon. McLaughlin’s two daughters, Megan, 6, and Molly 4, were involved with the decorating.

• The Stanford roster included Jennifer Wilson, a sophomore middle blocker from University High School in Spokane. She didn’t play last night.

• The 14-member Washington roster includes three seniors, six juniors, three sophomores and three freshmen. The breakdown by origin: Washington 3, California 2, British Columbia 2, Serbia and Montenegro 2, and with one each, Hawaii, Oregon, Indiana, Nevada and Ohio.

The Final Four is proof that volleyball hotbeds exist outside California. Although USC has nine Californians on its roster, the three other schools have eight combined.