UCLA Men’s volleyball coach John Speraw added U.S. Olympic head coach to an already impressive resume Monday, taking the reins after serving as an assistant during the last two Olympics.
“I am honored to have been selected to coach this elite group of talented U.S. players,” Speraw said. “And I appreciate UCLA’s support in allowing me to pursue this tremendous opportunity.”
USA Volleyball CEO Doug Beal told the AP he feels Speraw, who led little known UC Irvine to three national championships before being selected to coach his Alma Mater in Westwood, has plenty of international experience as well as the full support of the team after helping them to gold back in Beijing:
“He’s a terrifically talented coach who has had a remarkable level of success at the college level. He knows the current U.S. men’s player pool very well from his experiences over the last two quads.”
Speraw will officially be introduced Tuesday at the American Sports Centers down in Anaheim, where he’ll train the team for a shot at reclaiming gold in Rio.
Olympic triathlon champion Gwen Jorgensen is pregnant and will not compete this year.
“Just kind of take this year a little bit easier,” Jorgensen said in a video posted on Facebook on Thursday.
The baby is due Aug. 3, according to Jorgensen’s social media.
Jorgensen, 30, became the first U.S. Olympic triathlon champion in Rio after going in as the heavy favorite. She has said for months that she planned to take time off to have a baby before returning to defend her Olympic title at Tokyo 2020.
Swiss Nicola Spirig, the 2012 Olympic gold medalist and 2016 silver medalist, is reportedly expecting a child in May.
In Jorgensen and Spirig’s absences, the top triathletes going into the season are defending world champion Flora Duffy of Bermuda, U.S. Olympians Katie Zaferes and Sarah True and Britons Vicky Holland and Helen Jenkins.
Jorgensen’s last competition was the New York City Marathon on Nov. 6, when she finished 14th in her first running race longer than 10 miles.
The World Triathlon Series kicks off in Abu Dhabi the first weekend of March.
MORE: Triathlon federation boss wants Olympic races shortened
The PyeongChang Winter Olympics, the first Winter Games in South Korea, are a little more than one year away.
A number of U.S. stars are establishing themselves in this winter sports season as medal contenders.
NBC Sports takes a look at some of those names to watch, as the U.S. looks to return to the top of the medal standings.
Russia earned the most medals at home in Sochi in 2014 with 33 medals, with the U.S. coming in second with 28. Those standings could change if Russian results are stripped due to its ongoing doping scandal.
The U.S. has never topped the total medal standings at a Winter Olympics outside of North America. It led the way at Lake Placid 1932 and Vancouver 2010.
VIDEO: PyeongChang 2018 Olympic venue tour