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Word From Westwood - Apr. 2, 2013
By: UCLA Athletics

Word From Westwood

Apr. 2, 2013

Thoughts from the Athletic Director

Members of the Bruin Family:

It is an honor to welcome Steve Alford and his family to Westwood. Steve is an accomplished player, coach, father and husband, and I have no doubt that the UCLA Men's Basketball program will flourish under his leadership.

Today is certainly a special day for the program, as we not only welcomed our new coach but also had the chance to host many of our former Bruins at the press conference (Watch Video Here). These legends were--and still are--the lifeblood of the program, and we have relied upon their passion and enthusiasm throughout the years.

Just over a week ago, after deciding to seek a new direction in our basketball program, my senior leadership and I were given a great opportunity - to shape the next chapter in the history of the program. Yet we also faced an immense challenge, of finding someone who is keenly aware of who we are and what we have been, but who also has a vision of what we can become.

We sought a coach who would not be afraid to use the established roadmap for past successes in Westwood, recruiting individuals of high character who are also very talented basketball players.

Steve Alford not only respects and honors the treasured history of college basketball and UCLA's place in it, but he will also field a team of exciting, unselfish and talented student-athletes.

This new chapter in Bruin history is the coming together of past, present and future, and we can't wait to get started.

While hiring a new men's basketball coach required a great deal of attention from my staff and I, there are plenty of other things happening in the department, and I would be remiss if we didn't continue to highlight them in this forum (see below).

Dan Guerrero

Spring Football Practice Gets Underway
Year two of the Jim Mora era of UCLA Football officially began this morning as Mora, his coaching staff and players began Spring Practice on Spaulding Field. It was the first of 15 practices for the Bruins this spring, all of which will be open to the public. For a complete schedule, please click here.

The 2013 Spring Game will be played at 5 pm on Saturday, April 27 at the Rose Bowl.

Yearly Tradition Returns to Drake Stadium on Saturday
Fresh off stellar performances last week in Texas at the Clyde A. Littlefield Texas Relays in Austin as well as the Bobcat Invitational in San Marcos, the #12-ranked men's and #18-ranked women's track and field teams return to Westwood this week for the Bruins' only home meet of the season. UCLA will host both LSU and TCU in the annual Rafer Johnson/Jackie Joyner-Kersee Invitational this Saturday at Drake Stadium. Field events will get underway at 9 am, with track events starting at 12:30 pm.

For a detailed schedule of events, please click here.

Women's Water Polo

Unique Same-Day Double for Women's Water Polo
The #4-ranked women's water polo team pulled off the uncanny feat of two wins at two different sites within a four-hour span last Friday afternoon.

First, the Bruins defeated #9 San Jose 15-8 in an MPSF contest in San Jose that started at 1 pm. They then hopped on a bus for the eight-mile ride to Santa Clara before knocking off the Broncos 16-6 in a non-conference match.

The Bruins will play in Northern California against next weekend in a key league contest at No. 2 Stanford (22-1, 3-0 MPSF) on Saturday at 11 am.

Gymnastics Heads to Ohio State for NCAA Regionals Appearance
The #6-ranked women's gymnastics team will travel to Columbus, Ohio this weekend to compete in the NCAA Columbus Regional. The top-seeded Bruins will face the host team Ohio State, along with LSU, Arizona, Central Michigan and NC State, and the top two teams will qualify for the NCAA Championships, to be hosted by UCLA April 19-21 in Pauley Pavilion.

Olympic Sports Report

  • The #4-ranked men's tennis team started the Pac-12 season on a positive note over the weekend, downing both No. 15 Cal and No. 49 Stanford by 5-2 scores. The Bruins, who are now 16-1 overall and 2-0 in the Pac-12, return home this week to host Utah Friday and Arizona Saturday.
  • The #4-ranked women's tennis team suffered a pair of heartbreaking losses over the weekend to # 14 Stanford and # 13 Cal in its final two regular-season matches at the Los Angeles Tennis Center. The Bruins (13-5; 4-2 Pac-12) will look to rebound this weekend in Arizona, as UCLA is slated to take on Arizona on Friday and ASU on Saturday.
  • The #4-ranked men's golf team travels to College Station, Texas to compete in the Aggie Invitational, hosted by Texas A&M on Saturday and Sunday.
  • The men's volleyball team returns home this week riding a six-match winning streak and a #3 national ranking after beating UC San Diego (3-0) and UC Irvine (3-1) on the road last week. The third-ranked Bruins will host Cal Baptist on Thursday at 6 pm and No. 1 BYU on Saturday at 7 pm. Both matches will be played in Pauley Pavilion.
  • Last week, the #7-ranked women's golf won the Anuenue Spring Break Classic in Maui by four shots over the University of Washington. The Bruins tied a school record by firing a 12-under par team score of 276 in the final round to win their second tournament of the season.
  • The #10-ranked baseball team has a big week ahead of it, facing #4 Cal State Fullerton on Tuesday at Jackie Robinson Stadium, before hosting #6-ranked Oregon State in a key Pac-12 showdown over the weekend.
  • The #12-ranked softball team dropped two of three at #15 Stanford last weekend and plays six times this week, hosting Washington in a rare mid-week doubleheader today and again at noon on Wednesday at Easton Stadium before traveling to Utah this weekend.
  • The #7-ranked sand volleyball team is back at Annenberg Beach House in Santa Monica on Wednesday to host Loyola Marymount at 2 pm.
  • The #8-ranked rowing team did not compete over the weekend and will return to action at the two-day San Diego Crew Classic on April 6-7.

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