Thirteen years and 26 NCAA Championships later, Dan Guerrero’s mantra of ‘image and substance’ has clearly been established at a level that few others in his profession can approach. At the department’s helm when UCLA Athletics became the first to 100 NCAA team championships, the Bruins' current total of 112 NCAA titles is a figure unmatched by any institution in the nation. While UCLA teams have indeed won 26 NCAA championships since his appointment, another national leader, they have also finished second 26 times and have enjoyed an additional 49 Top Five finishes.
In fact, more than 80% of UCLA teams have qualified for NCAA post-season competition since 2002. The football team has appeared in 11 bowl games while the men’s basketball team advanced to consecutive Final Fours from 2006-08 and has made five trips to the Sweet 16. The program has also won 59 conference championships in 15 different sports, produced nearly 600 All-Americans and featured eight Honda Award winners, including the 2003-04 Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year.
UCLA’s success has not just been confined to North America. On the world stage, during the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London, 32 Bruins participated as athletes or coaches. Representing the United States and eight other nations, they combined to win nine medals, including six golds, a total exceeding what most countries take home in any single Olympiad.
Guerrero, recently named the 2014 NACDA Under Armour Athletic Director of the Year award, is the only athletic director at the NCAA Division I level (FBS, FCS and NCAA Division I-AAA) to earn three such awards (2006-07 at UCLA, 2001-02 at UC Irvine). In his 13 years at UCLA, the Bruins have finished second four times (2005-06, 2006- 07, 2007-08 and 2014-15), third four times (2003-04, 2004-05, 2011-12 and 2012-13), fourth (2009-10), sixth (2002-03), seventh (2013-14), 11th (2010-11) and 16th (2008-09) in the race for the Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup.
In 2012-13, UCLA won its first Capital One Cup since its inception in 2010-11, taking home the title in men’s sports by vaulting to the top of the standings by claiming the 2013 College World Series. In 2011-12, both men (3rd) and women (2nd) finished in the top three, while in 2013-14, UCLA finished second in the Capital One Cup women’s standings, having captured national titles in both women’s soccer and tennis. The UCLA women finished 10th in the 2014-15 Capital One Cup, giving UCLA three Top 10 finishes in the last four years on both the men's and women's side.
During the 2014-15 season, men's water polo captured its ninth NCAA title, and six other UCLA teams finished among the Top 5 nationally: men's soccer (2nd), women's tennis (2nd), women’s water polo (2nd), women’s soccer (T-5th), softball (T-5th) and men’s golf (T-5th). Additionally, the football team defeated USC for the third-straight year, posted a 10-3 record, won the Alamo Bowl and finished in the Top 10 in the final polls, while men’s basketball won 22 games and advanced to the NCAA Tournament “Sweet 16” for the second-straight year. And when everything was said and done, 55 student-athletes earned All-America honors, and 92 earned selection to various all-conference teams.
During Guerrero’s tenure, UCLA teams have captured the following NCAA team titles: six in women’s water polo, three each in women’s softball and women’s gymnastics, two in women’s golf, women’s tennis and men's water polo, and one each in women’s soccer, men’s tennis, men’s volleyball, women’s volleyball, men’s golf, men’s soccer, women’s outdoor track and baseball. The Bruins have recorded 38 additional national podium finishes in that span.
While success on the playing field with 26 NCAA Championships in 14 different sports and 26 second-place finishes during his tenure are extraordinary numbers, UCLA’s academic success under Guerrero is equally noteworthy. Over 13 years and 39 quarters, student-athletes have earned more than 8,500 spots on the Director’s Honor Roll (3.0 or higher grade-point average for a quarter). UCLA's Graduation Success Rate (GSR) and Academic Progress Rates (APR) continued their consistent rise this academic year. The Bruin student-athlete GSR is currently at 87%, up 3% from two years ago. Three teams (women’s tennis, women’s basketball and softball) achieved a GSR of 100%. UCLA had the second-highest overall GSR in the Pac-12 at 87% while the football team also had the second-highest GSR in the Pac-12 with 88%. All 24 UCLA sports earned a four-year APR of 965 or better, with 21 of the 24 (88%) averaging 970 or higher. UCLA's football team ranked third in the Pac-12 and 25th nationally among FBS schools in multi-year rate (975).
Individual academic accolades in 2014-15 include a school-record five student-athletes (Ally Courtnall, Sam Mewis, Karsta Lowe, Samantha Peszek and Ida Storm) earning Capital One/CoSIDA Academic All-America honors, now bringing the school’s total to 123. Peszek, the 2015 NCAA Gymnastics all-around and balance beam champion, also became the 70th UCLA student-athlete to be awarded an NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship. In addition, Sarah Killion (women's soccer), Kaitlin Ray (women's tennis) and Dennis Mkrtchian (men's tennis) received the Pac-12 Scholar Athlete of the Year honors. Overall, 136 UCLA student-athletes earned all-academic honors through the Pac-12 or MPSF conferences, along with more than 850 Director’s Honor Roll placements during the school year.
Nationally, Guerrero has extensive experience in committee work at both the NCAA and conference level. In June of 2010, Guerrero completed a five-year term on the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Committee. As the chair in 2009-10, he was involved with the negotiation of the new $10.8 billion, 14-year NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament television package, as well as the decision to expand the Tournament to 68 teams.
In addition to his service on the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Committee, he also served on the “College Basketball Partnership,” a group that included many of the most influential people in the sport. He has served as Chair of both the Pac-10 Athletic Directors Committee and the Budget and Finance Committee, and has served on several other conference committees, including his current responsibilities as a member of the Pac-12 Rose Bowl Management committee. He also serves as the Pac-12 AD Liaison to the Men’s Basketball Coaches.
He has also served on numerous other NCAA committees, including the Men’s Basketball, Baseball Academic Enhancement and Minority Opportunities and Interest Committees. In February 2015, Guerrero was tabbed to chair the Division I Men’s Basketball Oversight Committee – a group responsible for competitive issues in men’s basketball – and at the conclusion of the 2014-15 season, completed his second tenure as a member of the NCAA Division I Baseball Committee. Additionally, he was honored to serve as president of NACDA (2011-12) and the Division IA Athletic Director’s Association (2010-11), one of but a handful of athletic directors to have served as president of both Associations and is also a charter member of the newly formed College Football Playoff Athletic Directors Advisory Group.
Over the past decade-plus, Guerrero has earned numerous honors for his work. In addition to earning three Under Armour Athletic Director of the Year awards, he was honored by the Black Coaches and Administrators organization in 2010 as the Dr. Myles Brand BCA Administrator of the Year. In April 2011, he was honored as a recipient of the Crystal Eagle Award by CORO Southern California, a non-profit organization that trains civic leaders. A year later, Guerrero was one of the inaugural recipients of the John McLendon Foundation Pioneer Award, presented to him for being the first Hispanic Athletic Director to serve as the Chair of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Committee.
In October 2004, Guerrero was named one of the nation’s 100 Most Influential Hispanics by Hispanic Business Magazine and the May 5, 2003 issue of Sports Illustrated listed him #28 among the 101 Most Influential Minorities in Sports. He was one of 28 people whose photo was featured on that issue’s cover.
Other honors Guerrero has amassed over the years include: UCLA Latino Alumnus of the Year (October 2002); Cal State Dominguez Hills’ Alumnus of the Year (March 2003); and 2003 “Father of the Year” by the Father’s Day Council of the American Diabetes Association. On September 10, 2002, the Los Angeles City Council honored him with Dan Guerrero Day. He also became the first athlete in any sport at Banning High School (Wilmington, CA) to have his jersey (#8 in baseball) retired in 2003.
In addition to the athletic and academic success and the national recognition that accompanies those things, resource development has been a core tenet of Guerrero’s tenure. In 2010-11, a tremendous seven-year, multi-million dollar extension with adidas, equipment provider for all of UCLA’s 25 sports, took effect. In 2004-05, he finalized a multi-million dollar agreement with ISP Sports (now IMG College), a premier national collegiate sports marketing organization. Guerrero also led the negotiations that solidified the relationship between UCLA and the Rose Bowl, resulting in more than $180 million in renovations and restoration.
Under Guerrero’s guidance, UCLA continues to aggressively enhance its athletic facilities, including the August 2015 groundbreaking of the Wasserman Football Center and the Mo Ostin Basketball Center. In the Acosta Center, the sports medicine and athletic performance centers were renovated and redesigned, and the Olympic sports locker rooms were added on a third level. A new golf practice facility and the Easton Softball Stadium renovation were completed during the 2004-05 season, and Spieker Aquatics Center was finished in the summer of 2009. In June of 2014, new sand volleyball courts were built at the Sunset Canyon Recreation Center. Finally, the renovation of Pauley Pavilion was completed in October 2012, on time and under budget. In all, over $300 million in improvements to UCLA Athletic facilities has taken place since Guerrero took over as Athletic Director while another $100 million in football and basketball facility construction alone is scheduled to be completed in the coming years leading up to UCLA’s centennial anniversary.
Guerrero came to UCLA from UC Irvine, where he had served as UCI’s fifth permanent Director of Athletics for 10 years (1992-2002), helping to elevate that program to unprecedented success. Prior to arriving at UC Irvine, Guerrero worked at Cal State Dominguez Hills, where he led that program to national prominence while serving as Athletic Director for five years (1988-92).
A proud alumnus of UCLA, Guerrero received his Bachelor’s degree from the University in 1974 and played second base for the Bruins for four years. His three-year batting average in Pacific-8 Conference games was .343. Known as “Warrior” during his playing career, he was inducted into the UCLA Baseball Hall of Fame in 1996. The Bruin Athletic Director earned a Master’s degree in Public Administration in 1982 from Cal State Dominguez Hills and was named to the Pi Alpha Alpha Honor Society for Public Affairs and Public Policy that same year.
Guerrero, 63, was raised in Wilmington, CA. He is married to the former Anne Marie Aniello, and they have two grown daughters.