UC Irvine coaches need more than athletic expertise and motivational skills. An up-to-date passport comes in handy, too.

This summer, the head coaches of UCI’s volleyball and water polo teams have the honor of serving with U.S. national teams — the pinnacle achievement in their fields — in championship tournaments in Puerto Rico, Mexico and China.

“These coaches represent the high level of respect that national organizations have for our programs,” athletics director Mike Izzi says. “We encourage our coaches to enhance their careers through these opportunities, which allow them to share knowledge and gain insight from others in their profession that can assist them with their respective teams at UCI.”

“Our coaches are being recognized for their talents and helping build international recognition for UCI Athletics,” he adds.

Men’s volleyball coach John Speraw is an assistant coach with the U.S. national men’s volleyball team, which will compete in the NORCECA Men’s Continental Championship Aug. 27-Sept. 4 in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico. The event is a qualifier for November’s FIVB World Cup, which offers the first chance to earn a spot at the 2012 Olympic Games in London.

Speraw was an assistant for Team USA when the Americans won a gold medal at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. He led UCI to national titles in 2007 and 2009 and will be in his 10th season with the Anteaters in 2011-12.

Women’s volleyball coach Paula Weishoff is an assistant coach with the U.S. national women’s team that won the bronze medal at the X Women’s Pan American Cup in Mexico last month. Team USA is currently competing in Macau, China, at the FIVB Grand Prix, which runs through Aug. 28. A three-time Olympian, Weishoff enters her third season at UCI this fall.

Women’s water polo coach Dan Klatt was an assistant coach for the U.S. women’s national team that captured gold in June at the FINA World League Super Final in Tianjin, China. The American squad then competed in the FINA World Championships in Shanghai, finishing sixth.

Klatt, a member of the 2004 U.S. men’s Olympic team starting his seventh season at UCI, has led the Anteater women to three consecutive Big West tournament titles and a first-ever trip to the NCAA championship this May in Ann Arbor, Mich., where UCI finished fifth.

Anteater men’s water polo coach Marc Hunt is head coach of the U.S. men’s water polo team currently in Shenzhen, China, at the World University Games, which run through Aug. 23. Hunt, who also serves as head coach of the U.S. national B team, is going into his seventh season at UCI and has led the ’Eaters to a top-five final national ranking four times.