Aug. 14, 2012
Welcome to the latest edition of Word from Westwood. In the past week, the rest of the UCLA campus has seemingly awakened from its summer hibernation and become more of the center of activity that we are accustomed to. Meanwhile, in the athletic department, there is a lot coming down the pipeline in the next few weeks and months, and our team is very excited to share it with all of you.
Thoughts from Athletic Director Dan Guerrero:
Last week, I was fortunate enough to spend a few days at the London Olympics. The highlight of my trip was a very special event last Thursday night - a reception for UCLA Olympians, alumni and friends at the October Gallery, London WC1 in Bloomsbury, hosted by UCLA Alumni in the UK.
Among the Bruin legends who attended were U.S. Olympic gymnastics medalist Tasha Schwikert and current UCLA Gymnastics Head Coach Valorie Kondos Field. Both shared Olympic experiences past and present and gave their insights on how UCLA athletics embodies the competitive excellence that is found in all Olympians. Special thanks goes out to Al Osbourne, Senior Associate Dean in the Anderson School of Management, who served as moderator for the evening.
The reception was conducted in honor of the 34 UCLA students, alumni and staff who all took part in the Games of the XXX Olympiad this month, and served as the official launch of the UCLA Alumni in the UK.
The evening was capped off with a surprise guest. Joining us was five-time U.S. Olympic high jumper Amy Acuff, proud to be a Bruin and proud to have had another opportunity to represent our country in these Games.
Thanks to all who attended and who follow Bruin Athletics over the various mediums that allow them to enjoy our contests. I was so pleased to meet you and speak to you about the University we all love.
All in all, it was an amazing experience to be a part of the Bruin family that did so well in London ...
Of the 34 Bruins representing their respective countries at the Games, 12 came away medal-winners, including six gold medal athletes and two gold medal-winning coaches. The six gold medals in 2012 came in three team sports - women's soccer (Lauren Cheney and Sydney Leroux, plus assistant coach Jillian Ellis) and women's water polo (Courtney Mathewson and Kelly Rulon, plus head coach Adam Krikorian) just minutes apart on Aug. 9 and men's basketball (Kevin Love and Russell Westbrook) on Aug. 12. Earning silver medals were former UCLA rowing assistant coach Mark Hunter (lightweight double sculls) and track and field alumna Dawn Harper (100m Hurdles). Junior Chelsea Stewart won the lone medal by a current UCLA student-athlete, taking bronze with the Canadian women's soccer team.
Overall, 396 Bruins have combined to make 648 Olympic appearances and have now won 250 Olympic medals - 125 gold, 65 silver, and 60 bronze. UCLA, which was founded in 1919, has had at least one competitor in every Olympics since 1920 with one exception (1924), and UCLA has won a gold medal in every Olympics in which the U.S. has competed since 1932. Since 1984, Bruins have won 85 gold medals, and the six gold medals won this year rank tied for fifth among all universities.
As mentioned last week, several members of the Bruin family competing in or working the games, and in some cases, just attending them as a fan, contributed immensely to a wonderful page dedicated to the games on UCLABruins.com that you should check out here if you haven't already.
The valuable contributors were:
U.S. Men's Volleyball assistant coach John Speraw (also UCLA head coach)
U.S. Water Polo player Chay Lapin
U.S. Gymnast Anna Li
UCLA Gymnastics Head Coach Valorie Kondos Field
UCLA Associate Athletic Director Mike Sondheimer
UCLA Athletics Assistant Director of On Campus Recruiting Mariella Trombetta
UCLA Athletics Hall of Fame Art Director Emily Greer
Former UCLA Gymnast Ariana Berlin
Meanwhile, UCLA Athletics' Director of New Media, Liza David, "quarterbacked" their efforts as well as those of the Sports Information team compiling results from Los Angeles, often staying up around the clock to make sure the latest reflections and event recaps were on the site, and they deserve a hearty thank you as well.
Pac-12 Networks to Launch Wednesday
Wednesday at 6 pm (PT) is a time that future generations will look back upon as a watershed moment in the history of UCLA, as well as the entire conference, as the Pac 12 Networks will launch, the largest ever launch for a cable entity.
Pac-12 Networks will offer UCLA fans access to 850 live quality events across seven networks and additional content at the new Pac-12.com. The university and the student-athletes will get more exposure than ever before, including 35 thrilling Pac-12 football games, more than 135 men's basketball games, and nearly 700 Olympic sports events featuring teams competing for NCAA Championships.
As of August 10, three of the top five television distributors in the country and many others have agreed to distribute Pac-12 Networks to their subscribers. This includes Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Cox and Bright House - which collectively reach 40 million households - as well as several providers in the National Cable Television Cooperative that are signing on an almost daily basis.
Of course, the Networks are continuing to negotiate with other major distributors across the country to achieve fair, market-based agreements for distributing our content. In the Los Angeles market, there continues to be positive dialogue with DirecTV, Dish, AT&T Uverse, Verizon FIOS, and Charter, all of which have acknowledged the premium that the marketplace has placed on our valuable content.
However, because of the size of these carriers' collective subscriber base, the conference and the department are preparing for the possibility that a portion of UCLA's local fan base will be unable to view the game with Houston in week three of the football season.
Preventing this from happening is one of the league's top goals, which is why it is vital for the UCLA fan base in Los Angeles to communicate early and often with its television providers to ask them to carry Pac-12 Networks as soon as possible. The easiest way to do this is by clicking here, checking to see if your provider has Pac-12 Networks, and if not, send an email asking your provider to add them to its inventory.
To view the Pac-12 Network schedules, click here.
The most updated Pac-12 networks information, including frequently asked questions and a live customer care submission form, will be available on the Customer Care portal at www.Pac-12.com. The new website will also have a master schedule of events on Pac-12 Networks.
Fireworks Celebration Slated for the Rose Bowl after the Nebraska Game
Excitement is in the air with UCLA Football at the Rose Bowl just around the corner, and now it's official, the Jim Mora era at the Rose Bowl will start with a bang.
Following the September 8 home game against Nebraska, the pageantry of UCLA Football at the Rose Bowl takes on a unique twist, a post-game show, produced by Rialto-based Pyro Spectaculars, one of the nation's leaders in large-scale fireworks shows. As an added bonus, the UCLA Band will provide the live soundtrack for the show.
For more information or to purchase tickets to the game, please visit UCLABruins.com or call 310-UCLA-WIN (310-825-2946).
Football Team Headed Back to Westwood Later this Week
After 12 productive days of practice in the Inland Empire, the football team and their coaches return to campus this Thursday evening. After an off-day on Friday, the team will get its first chance to practice on the new playing surface at Spaulding Field and then almost immediately head to Drake Stadium for the Meet the Bruins event on Saturday afternoon.
With summer camp in San Bernardino, many fans have not had the chance to see the young men and coaches who have poured their all into the last two weeks, and this family-friendly event, complete with a carnival-like atmosphere and an autograph session, will allow them to do just that.
For the event details, please click here.
Details of Men's Basketball China Trip Announced
After having the benefit of practicing as a unit for the last three weeks on campus, the UCLA men's basketball program will embark on a seven-day goodwill tour in China from Aug. 22-29, playing three games against NCAA-level competition in Beijing and Shanghai on a trip sponsored by the Pac-12 Conference.
Traveling via Air China , Ben Howland and the team will arrive in Beijing on Thursday, Aug. 23, before facing Tsinghua University on Saturday, Aug. 25. They will then fly to Shanghai the following day and play against Shanghai Jiao Tong University on Monday, Aug. 27. UCLA will take on the Shanghai Sharks, a professional Chinese team, the evening of Tuesday, Aug. 28 at Yuan Shen Sports Center, before flying back to Los Angeles on Wednesday, Aug. 29.
Complete details of the trip, including information on tickets/meet and greets, are available here.
Fall Sports Teams Back in the Fold
As the academic year draws closer, and with the football team already in fall camp, many of the UCLA fall Olympic Sports teams are either deep into training camps or beginning their competitive seasons.
Thus far, the men's and women's soccer teams, the women's volleyball team and the men's water polo team have "entered camp", and several others, including cross country, will be doing so in the next week to 10 days.
The women's soccer team will open its 2012 season on the road this weekend on an East Coast swing, with games at Connecticut on Friday and Massachusetts on Sunday. Meanwhile, the defending NCAA Champion women's volleyball team hosts its alumni match Saturday afternoon at the Wooden Center.
Wooden Athletic Fund's "Drive to 1500" Continues
This past October, the Wooden Athletic Fund began its "Drive to 1500" new member campaign. The aim of the campaign is to recruit 100 new members for each of the 15 blocks in Coach Wooden's Pyramid of Success, while raising awareness for the WAF and its direct impact on all of the nearly 700 UCLA student-athletes.
As of the end of July, the WAF team had signed up more 650 new members, and their contributions add up to nearly $900,000 in new revenue for UCLA student-athletes. About halfway to the initial goal, the development unit is continuing their outreach and are confident that they will reach their milestone of 1500 new members by July 1, 2013.
All UCLA friends, fans and alumni are asked to consider investing in tomorrow's champions today by joining the Wooden Athletic Fund with a tax-deductible contribution. To join or learn more, please visit www.woodenathleticfund.com.
Dribble for the Cure Returns to UCLA on October 21
One of the department's biggest philanthropic events of the year, in partnership with the Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation and Mattel Children's Hospital UCLA, is the fifth annual "Dribble for the Cure", which will be held on campus on Saturday, Oct. 21.
This is a great time for fans to come out and meet head basketball coaches Ben Howland and Cori Close and the UCLA basketball teams, while making a difference in the lives of children with cancer. Proceeds will be directed to funding a cure for pediatric cancer research through the PCRF and supporting the treatment of children with cancer at Mattel Children's Hospital UCLA.
Please visit dribbleforthecure.com/ucla for more information or to register for the event.