Bruins Add Maria Clara Salgado to Beach Volleyball Staff
LOS ANGELES, Calif. -- UCLA head women's beach volleyball coach Stein Metzger announced the hiring of beach volleyball standout Maria Clara Salgado as the Bruins' volunteer assistant coach effective immediately.
"We are thrilled to welcome Maria Clara into the UCLA beach volleyball family," Metzger said. "Her record as a top international player for close to two decades speaks for itself. That experience, coupled with the knowledge from working with the world's top professional beach volleyball coaches, will have an immeasurable impact on our program. We particularly value Maria's character which emulates the true Bruin values of respect, integrity and excellence. She is talented, yet humble, and will be a wonderful role model and mentor for our student-athletes."
Salgado, who is an active player on the AVP, is a highly decorated player on the international scene. While this is her first collegiate post, she comes from a beach volleyball dynasty and was coached by her mother, the legendary former indoor volleyball and beach volleyball player Isabel Salgado, in the early years of her career. Isabel is a two-time Olympian, who played for Brazil on the indoor team in Moscow in 1980 and Los Angeles in 1984. Her brother, Pedro Solberg, also plays professionally and represented Brazil in beach volleyball at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio. Solberg has won 22 career titles and was part of the FIVB Team of the Year in 2008 with Harley Marques. He was named the FIVB's Best Blocker in 2013.
The Salgado's beach volleyball history started 25-plus years ago when Isabel played in the first beach volleyball international tournaments in the early 1990s. Isabel was a star in Brazil in the 1980s in indoor volleyball and was one of the pioneers of beach volleyball in the country, playing with Olympic champion Jackie Silva in the early days of the sport.
Salgado, who started playing professionally in Rio de Janeiro at the age of 17, teamed with Shaylyn Bede to win the inaugural U-21 world title in 2001 at Le Lavandou, France. She won bronze at the 2002 U-21 World Championship with Talita Antunes in Catania, Italy, and would later win bronze with her sister, Carolina Salgado, at the 2003 U-21 World Championship in Saint Quay Portrieux, France
Late in her career, Isabel played with her daughters in the Brazilian Tour. When Isabel retired, the Salgado sisters joined forces and had her as their coach for years. The Salgado sisters stayed together from 2003 to 2015. When the sand had settled, they had played together in 135 tournaments in World Tour history, which ranks second all-time behind Finland's sister duo of Emilia and Erika Nystrom (157). The Brazilians collected 17 World Tour medals, including two golds, and 39 more medals on the Brazilian National Tour with six tournament victories on their home sand. The highlight of their pairing was a Grand Slam triumph in 2013 when they took down future Olympic and world champions Laura Ludwig and Kira Walkenhorst of Germany, in Moscow. Salgado had six podiums finishes in 2013, leading to her best FIVB World Ranking of second.
In 2016, Salgado took a break to have her first son, Joaquim, with her husband and UCLA alum, Jeremy Casebeer. Casebeer served as the Bruins' volunteer assistant coach during the 2020 season.
Salgado was named the AVP Newcomer of the Year in 2017 and also was named the FIVB Best Server in 2008 and 2009. She has had 28 semifinal appearances in the FIVB in her career.