Jim McLaughlin Named Pac-10 Coach Of The Year

Nov. 29, 2004

SEATTLE--Washington head volleyball coach Jim McLaughlin has been named the Pac-10 Coach of the Year for the second time in three years after guiding the Huskies to their first ever Pac-10 Championship and No. 7 seed in the NCAA Tournament. Freshman Christal Morrison was named Pac-10 Freshman of the Year and four other Huskies were named to the all-conference teams.

McLaughlin earned the award after leading Washington to a 16-2 league record and its first ever Pac-10 title. The Huskies opened the season with a school-record 22-match winning streak and finished the regular season at 24-2. Washington has been ranked among the top seven all season, including a seven-week stint at No. 1 in the USA Today/ CSTV Top 25 poll. McLaughlin, who also was tabbed Pac-10 Coach of the year in 2002, boasts a 159-81 (.663) career record over eight seasons coaching women's collegiate volleyball. He has a 78-38 (.672) record at Washington in four seasons. Prior to Washington, McLaughlin spent four seasons at Kansas State, compiling an 81-43 (.653) record and leading the Wildcats to four consecutive NCAA appearances. He was named Big 12 Coach of the year in 1999. McLaughlin also coached six seasons with the USC men's team, leading the 1990 squad to the NCAA Championship.

Morrison, an outside hitter from Puyallup, Wash., picked up Pac-10 Freshman of the Year honors after ranking second in the conference with 4.40 kills per game and 5.01 points per game. She has 12 double-doubles on the season and has tallied double-figure kills in 23 matches. She earned Pac-10 Player of the Week honors earlier this year and was named to the Northwest Classic and Green Mill Classic all-tournament teams. Morrison is Washington's first ever Pac-10 Freshman of the Year.

Four other Huskies were named to the All-Pac-10 teams, including first team members Brie Hagerty, Candace Lee and Courtney Thompson and honorable mention selection Darla Myhre.

Hagerty, a junior outside hitter from Defiance, Ohio, ranks third in the Pac-10 in kills per game (4.09) and sixth in points per game (4.41). She has tallied double-digit kills 20 times and has hit .400 or better in seven matches. Hagerty was named to the Northwest Classic and NIU Invitational all-tournament teams earlier this season.

Lee, a junior libero from Eugene, Ore., leads the Pac-10 and ranks 16th nationally with 5.74 digs per game. She broke Washington's single-season and career records this season and became just the fourth player in Huskies' history to enter the 1,000 dig club. Lee has logged 20 or more kills 12 times and ranks 13th all-time on the Pac-10 list with 1,370 career digs. She is a member of the Academic All-District and Pac-10 All-Academic first teams and was the MVP of the Green Mill Classic.

Thompson, a sophomore setter from Kent, Wash., leads the Pac-10 and ranks second nationally with 14.80 assists per game. She ranks second on the team with a .407 hitting percentage and has dished 50 or more assists 15 times. Thompson has recorded double-digit digs eight times and was the recipient of Washington's Top Dawg award. She is a member of the Academic All-District and Pac-10 All-Academic first teams and was the MVP of the Northwest Classic.

Myhre, a junior middle blocker from Victoria, British Columbia, leads the team and ranks fourth in the Pac-10 with 1.40 blocks per game. She has notched eight or more blocks five times this season, including an 11 block performance against UCLA on Sept. 25.

The Huskies have been selected as the No. 7 seed in the NCAA Tournament and will host the first and second rounds, Dec. 3-4 at Bank of America Arena. Kansas will face Santa Clara on Friday at 5 p.m. and Washington will play Idaho at 7 p.m. Friday's winners will square off on Saturday at 7 p.m. for the chance to advance to the Sweet 16. Washington has also been selected to host the NCAA Regional Tournament, Dec. 10-11.