UCLA Rowing Welcomes Marija Medelinskaite as Assistant Coach
The UCLA women's rowing program has added Marija Medelinskaite as an assistant coach, as announced this week by head coach Previn Chandraratna.
Medelinskaite (name pronounced mah-REE-uh med-dell-in-skite) arrives in Westwood after having spent the previous two seasons as a graduate assistant coach at West Virginia University (Morgantown, W. Va.). She earned her undergraduate degree from the University of Central Florida in 2019 after a strong four-year rowing career with the Knights.
"As a decorated Division I rower with both solid junior and Division I coaching experiences under her belt, Marija is the complete package," Chandraratna said. "We are delighted to have her aboard."
Including her time rowing at Central Florida, Medelinskaite rowed for 10 years before making the transition to coaching. As a graduate assistant the past two years at West Virginia, she assisted in multiple facets of the Mountaineers' program. West Virginia's top two four crews made significant strides, with the second varsity four (2V4+) finishing in fourth place and the varsity four (V4+) recording a fifth-place finish at the 2022 Big 12 Conference Championships, hosted in Austin, Texas.
Medelinskaite served as a coach with Casitas Rowing, located in Ventura, Calif., prior to her two seasons at West Virginia. She worked with the varsity girls' squad during the 2019-20 academic year, which was interrupted by the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. She also worked with the master's team at Casitas Rowing.
As a four-year varsity student-athlete at Central Florida, Medelinskaite was a mainstay in the varsity eight boat (V8+). Central Florida won four consecutive American Athletic Conference titles during her time at UCF. She helped guide her college program to four consecutive top-20 final national rankings in 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019.
In addition, Medelinskaite set team erg records during her sophomore season in both the 2K and 6K, improving upon the 6K erg record during her senior year. She captured first-team all-conference honors during each of her final three seasons (2017-19). Medelinskaite had been named a second-team all-league selection as a freshman at UCF in 2016.
Medelinskaite earned her bachelor's degree in interdisciplinary studies at Central Florida with a minor in early childhood education and development. She graduated with her master's degree in coaching and sports education from West Virginia in 2022.
The Bruins' coaching staff for the upcoming season will include Anna Thomson, Jake Power and Marija Medelinskaite, in addition to head coach Previn Chandraratna. Thomson will enter her fifth season with UCLA's program in 2022-23. Power served as a volunteer assistant coach with the Bruins in 2021-22 and will begin his second season with the Bruins this fall. Chandraratna will enter his second season as the Bruins' head coach, his eighth year on the coaching staff at UCLA.