Rick McLaughlin, Leslie Tuiasosopo Named Assistant Volleyball Coaches
Aug. 14, 2001
SEATTLE - Rick McLaughlin and Leslie Tuiasosopo have been named assistant volleyball coaches at the University of Washington. McLaughlin's main duties will include recruiting and working with the team's offense, while former Husky standout (1995-98), Tuiasosopo, will work with the team's center blockers, in addition to assisting with all administrative duties.
McLaughlin, the younger brother of new UW head coach Jim McLaughlin, was the men's head volleyball coach at Loyola Marymount University (LMU) for eight seasons from 1993-2000. In his final year, he helped the Lions to a No. 6 national ranking and was named the ASICS/Volleyball Magazine National Coach of the Year, with wins over national powers UCLA, Long Beach State and Penn State.
'It's very special to be able to work with your brother,' UW head coach Jim McLaughlin said. 'I have so much respect for him, and he is an extremely hard worker. Plus, he knows me better than any other coach in the country.'
A two-time conference coach of the year (1998, 2000), McLaughlin helped the 1998 LMU squad to the school's first postseason tournament appearance in seven years and a final No. 12 national ranking.
Prior to taking over as head coach at LMU in July of 1992, McLaughlin was an assistant coach at Pepperdine for two seasons, as the Waves posted an overall record of 22-4 and claimed the 1992 NCAA championship.
On the national level, he served as an assistant for both the U.S. men's and women's national teams and in 1993, was the head coach of the men's junior and youth national teams, as well as the men's junior elite training camp. Both the junior (bronze) and youth (gold) squads went on to claim a medal at the NORCECA's in Puerto Rico.
A four-year starter at setter from 1987-90, McLaughlin led LMU to a No. 8 national ranking as a senior, and is among the school's career leaders in assists, service aces and total blocks. The Southern California native graduated from LMU in 1990 with a bachelor's degree in business administration and finance, and earned his master's in education from Azusa Pacific University in 1999.
Tuiasosopo, along with All-American Makare Desilets, formed one of the nation's best blocking tandems, leading the Huskies to the NCAA blocking title in 1997. A Pac-10 first team selection as a junior, Tuiasosopo ranks in the UW career top 10 in six categories including total blocks (2nd - 613) and block assists (2nd - 520). She also ranked in the top 25 nationally in blocks per game in each of her four seasons at Washington.
'I think Leslie is very talented and has all the skills that great coaches possess,' Jim McLaughlin said. 'She has a very strong presence and character, which is coupled with her experience of playing the game at its highest level.'
After completing her eligibility in 1998, Tuiasosopo trained with the USA national team program and was selected to participate at the 1999 World University Games in Spain. She then returned to Washington where she earned her bachelor's degree in psychology with a minor in speech communications in 2000.
From August 2000 until May 2001, the Woodinville, Wash., native played professional volleyball in Murcia, Spain.