Dear John Speraw,
Please don’t leave us at UC Irvine to take the UCLA men’s volleyball head coach position!
I know the job hasn’t opened up yet and the entire UCI volleyball community is just trying to recover after you helped us win the NCAA National Title at UCI, but I am begging you not to leave.
Your ties to the Bruins run deep and it is only a matter of time before former UCI and current UCLA Athletic Director Dan Guerrero comes looking for you.
UCLA’s current Head Coach Al Scates is a legend in his own right, leading the Bruins to 19 national titles. Many regard Scates as the John Wooden of men’s volleyball, but his time is coming to a close. He has already coached for over 45 years and there are signs that he might be retiring soon.
Speraw, you had the honor of playing with Scates and serving as an assistant coach at UCLA in the late 1990s. There is no question that your name will be brought into the equation come up when it comes to finding Scates’s replacement.
Speraw’s contract expires in 2008 and it’s obvious that UCLA can offer a heftier salary than UCI, given the Bruins’ athletic budget.
By winning the National Title, you have given the UCI campus something to cheer about for years to come, but you also put yourself on the radar of many nationally recognized programs.
To make things worse, the interim athletic director at UCI who hired you, Patrina Long, is currently working as the associate athletic director at UCLA.
She hired you once and I’m sure she and Guerrero are already planning to bring you back home to UCLA.
If you do take the job once your contract is up at UCI, I can understand. I would also be the first one to let you know that you deserve it. If you were able to win a National Championship with a program that is limited financially and with a bunch of walk-on players who were not recruited heavily out of high school, one can only imagine the wonders that you can produce at bigger programs such as UCLA.
I will be gone from UCI before you have to make your ultimate decision, but even if you do decide to leave, I would like to personally thank you for the wonderful season.