Adam Wright begins his sixth season as UCLA's head men's water polo coach in 2014. A former standout in the pool at UCLA, Wright competed in his third Olympics for the USA Men's Water Polo Team in July 2012.
Named UCLA's fourth head coach in program history on June 3, 2009, Wright has guided the Bruins to two MPSF Tournament titles and three runner-up finishes at the NCAA Tournament in his five seasons at the helm.
Wright has led the Bruins to a 122-27 record (.819), including a 31-9 (.775) mark in conference action. In 2009 and 2011, UCLA won the MPSF Tournament title and advanced to the title match of the NCAA Tournament. In 2010, the Bruins finished in a tie for second place in the MPSF regular-season standings and posted a fourth-place finish at the MPSF Tournament. In 2012, the Bruins fell to USC in the national championship game 11-10.
Wright was named MPSF Coach of the Year in 2011 after having led UCLA to the MPSF Tournament title and a runner-up finish at the NCAA Tournament.
Last year, Wright guided the Bruins to the nation's best record in the country at 28-4. UCLA also defeated six-time defending champion USC two out of three times last season and lost all four matches by a combined total of five goals. But the Bruins lost their last two games of the MPSF Tournament, an 11-10 setback to Stanford in the semifinals and a 10-9 defeat to Pacific in the third-place game, and were not selected to the NCAA Tournament.
Under Wright's guidance, 28 players have secured ACWPC All-America honors, including six first team honorees. Under his tutelage, redshirt freshman goalkeeper Garrett Danner was UCLA's first player to be named MPSF Newcomer of the Year in 2013 and in 2009, Scott Davidson became the first Bruin to secure MPSF Player of the Year honors since 2000 (Sean Kern).
The Bruins produced their finest season under Wright in 2012, going 28-5 with a 7-1 mark in MPSF play. UCLA also had a great season in 2011, going 24-5 with a 6-2 record in conference action. UCLA entered the MPSF Tournament with a 20-4 record, before recording three consecutive overtime wins, all by one goal, to win the tournament title. UCLA edged USC, 10-9, in sudden victory overtime in the championship match before a standing room only crowd at the Bruins' Spieker Aquatics Center.
UCLA advanced to the 2011 NCAA Tournament championship match with a 10-1 win over UC San Diego, its best defensive effort in any NCAA Tournament match since 1971. The Bruins lost a 7-4 decision to crosstown rival USC in the championship match.
In 2009, UCLA's path to the NCAA Tournament came as a result of hard work, discipline and a strong finish at the MPSF Tournament, culminating in the Bruins' first conference tournament title since 2000. After opening MPSF play with consecutive losses in October, Wright knew that the Bruins would have to win the MPSF Tournament to have any chance at playing for a national title. He adjusted the team's practice and conditioning regimen, preparing the Bruins for the three-day tournament setting.
After finishing fourth in the MPSF regular-season standings, UCLA surged in the conference tournament. The Bruins opened with an 8-5 win over No. 5-seed Pepperdine and downed No. 1-seed and tournament host USC, 10-6, the following day. UCLA claimed the tournament title with a 10-7 win over No. 3-seed California, which was fresh off an upset of No. 2-seed Stanford.
Prior to his tenure as head coach, Wright was a four-year letterwinner at UCLA from 1997-2000, helping lead the Bruins to back-to-back NCAA titles in 1999 and 2000. Following his collegiate career, he served as a key member on the USA National Team, participating in the 2004 and 2008 Olympic Games. He helped lead Team USA to a seventh-place finish in 2004 (Athens) and to the silver medal in 2008 (Beijing).
Wright has continued training with the USA National Team while serving as UCLA's head coach and competed at the 2012 Olympics in London.
Wright served as an assistant coach with the UCLA men's and women's water polo teams during the 2008-09 school year. He helped guide the women's program to an unprecedented fifth consecutive NCAA championship in May 2009. Following the 2008 men's water polo season, Wright played an integral role in securing the top men's recruiting class in the nation.
In addition, Wright served as an assistant coach with the varsity boys and girls water polo programs at Wilson High School (Long Beach, Calif.) from 2001-04. He helped coach the boys program to four consecutive CIF Division I championships and Moore League titles. Wright coached the girls team to two Moore League titles and two CIF Division I quarterfinal playoff appearances.
As a senior at UCLA in 2000, Wright scored 39 goals before earning honorable mention All-America acclaim and second-team All-MPSF honors. In 1999, he secured third-team All-America and second-team All-MPSF honors. That season, Wright led UCLA in assists (27) and was second in total points (48) and steals (39).
In his first two seasons, he scored 43 goals - 26 as a freshman and 27 as a sophomore. He gained second-team All-America honors in 1998 and was an honorable mention All-America and All-MPSF selection as a freshman in 1997.
Wright graduated from UCLA in 2001 with degrees in history and sociology.
Following his collegiate career, Wright competed in the European League (Italy and Russia) for Bissolati Cremona, Civitavecchia SNC, Nuoto Catania and Dynamo Moscow from 2004-08. He has competed for the U.S. National Team in all major tournaments from 2001-11, helping lead Team USA to the gold medal at the 2003 and 2007 Pan American Games as well as the 2005 ASUA Cup (Mexico City).
Wright, 37, is married to Kerry Norris, a former UCLA women's soccer player. He and his wife reside with their daughter, Rome, and son, Zsolt, in Los Angeles.