UCLA's Coach Wright Signs New Six-Year Contract
UCLA has signed men's and women's water polo head coach Adam Wright to a new six-year contract that will start in July of 2022, it was announced today by Martin Jarmond, the Alice and Nahum Lainer Family Director of Athletics. Wright was named the head coach of the UCLA Men's Water Polo team in 2009 and became the Bruins' Women's Water Polo head coach in 2017.
He currently has the Bruin women ranked second in the nation with an overall record of 21-1 and 3-0 in the MPSF. Wright has an overall record of 102-23 with the women's program, guiding UCLA back to the NCAA Championship game last year for the first time since 2017.
"It takes a special kind of leader to build both a men's and a women's water polo program, and to sustain them at an elite level simultaneously," Jarmond said. "Adam is that leader. He brings out the best in the young men and women he coaches. Beyond teaching, developing and inspiring our water polo student-athletes, Adam's attitude and team-first mentality within on our athletic department are invaluable. He is a Bruin Hall of Famer, and Westwood is where he belongs. I'm thrilled to have him here for a long time."
Wright just concluded his 13th season as UCLA's head men's water polo coach in 2021 with an overall record of 296-58 (.836) and an MPSF mark of 59-23 (.719). His teams earned perfect APR (Academic Progress Rate) scores of 1,000 in 2014, 2015 and 2016, all while winning NCAA Championships in 2014, 2015 and 2017.
The Bruins won their 12th NCAA Championship in program history in 2020 (on March 21, 2021) with a 7-6 win at USC. UCLA has won four of the last eight NCAA titles in men's water polo. Senior Nicolas Saveljic was named Player of the Year and won the Peter J. Cutino Award while Wright was named Coach of the Year by the ACWPC in 2020.
"I would like to thank Chancellor Gene Block and our Athletic Director Martin Jarmond for affording me the opportunity to continue coaching at the University that I not only graduated from and played for, but that I love so much," UCLA Head Coach Adam Wright said. "This is an extraordinary long-term commitment not only to me, but more importantly, to our men's and women's water polo programs and the student-athletes that comprise those teams. I also believe it is important to recognize that the way our student-athletes are supported at UCLA is second to none. The belief in our program from the University and Athletic Department has never been stronger. We are fortunate enough to represent something greater than our program. We get to represent the greatest University in the country and in the world. Most importantly, there is nothing better than having a chance to build relationships, instill confidence, and have the opportunity to compete for a National Championship with the best and brightest student-athletes every year. When you are supported the way that we are, you truly understand how lucky you are to have the opportunity to be placed in a position to attain the ultimate success in and out of the pool. I am so thankful to have the opportunity to continue to support and mentor our elite world-class student-athletes at UCLA."
Wright has guided the Bruins' men's team to MPSF Tournament titles in 2009, 2011, and 2015. The four-time ACWPC National Coach of the Year (2014, 2015, 2017, and 2020) set the UCLA, MPSF, and NCAA all-time winning streaks (57 games) in 2016. He was also named the MPSF Coach of the Year in 2011 and 2017.
Under Wright's guidance, 72 Bruin men have secured ACWPC All-America honors, including 19 First-Team honorees. He has also produced five Olympians for Team USA on the men's side (Chay Lapin in 2012, Josh Samuels and Alex Roelse in 2016, and Max Irving and Alex Wolf in 2020) and two on the women's side (Maddie Musselman (Team USA) and Bronte Halligan (Australia) in 2020).
"Throughout his time at UCLA, Adam has shown that he is a man of character and integrity with high moral values, which he has demonstrated through his dedication to our water polo student-athletes," Kenny Donaldson, Associate Director, Sports & Administration/Director of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion said. "I'm excited to continue to watch the growth and development of our student-athletes under the leadership of Adam and his staff in the pool, classroom, and in the community."