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Word From Westwood - Mar. 26, 2013
Courtesy: UCLA Athletics  
Release:  03/26/2013

Word From Westwood

Mar. 26, 2013

Thoughts from the Athletic Director

As many of you know, the University relieved head men's basketball coach Ben Howland of his duties on Sunday afternoon.

From the outset of his tenure 10 seasons ago, Coach Howland embraced UCLA's unique tradition and culture and produced some terrific teams while coaching many wonderful young men who have gone on to be successful in business, education and professional basketball leagues all around the world, including the NBA.

I want to thank Coach Howland again for his service to UCLA, and we wish him and his family nothing but the best in the next chapter of their life. The search for our next coach is underway, and we are working tirelessly to find the right fit. There is a lot that UCLA offers: a world-class academic institution, a legendary tradition of excellence, a terrific facility in New Pauley Pavilion, a strong national conference, a fertile recruiting base, and, of course, tremendous passion and enthusiasm from our supporters.

We certainly understand that many of our fans will want to stay up to date on the latest happenings. That said, in the best interest of the search itself, as well as everyone involved, we will not comment on the process, the candidates, or provide status updates. This is the same policy we used when we hired Jim Mora. Just know that we are hard at work to bring a coach to Westwood who we can all be excited about.

Go Bruins!

Dan Guerrero



Women's Basketball Concludes Season in Second Round of NCAA Tournament
Despite a consummate team effort that saw five players score in double figures on Monday night, the #11-ranked UCLA women's basketball team ended its 2012-13 campaign with an 85-72 loss to Oklahoma in second round NCAA Tournament action in Columbus, Ohio.

The Bruins, led by second-year coach Cori Close, finish the season with a 26-8 record, and the senior class leaves UCLA with the second-most wins (93) in school history.

After the game, Close told the media just how proud she was of her team, which included four senior starters: "Ten years from now, I'm going to value that they cared for each other, and that they played their rear ends off," she said.

Season ticket deposits are being accepted for 2013-14. For more information or to place a deposit, please click here.

Two Bruin Gymnasts Take Home Pac-12 Conference Titles
Both Vanessa Zamarripa and Olivia Courtney won individual Pac-12 Conference titles Saturday, and the UCLA Gymnastics team finished second overall with a season-best road score of 197.375.

Zamarripa won the vault (scoring yet another perfect 10), balance beam and all-around, while Courtney tied for first on floor exercise, to capture her fourth career conference crown.

The team's performance improved the Bruins' regional qualifying score enough to move up to the #6 national ranking and earn them a top seed at the NCAA Regional hosted by Ohio State on April 6. The Bruins are seeking a Top 2 finish at the Regional in order to come back home and compete for a national championship in Pauley Pavilion Apr. 19-21. To purchase tickets to the NCAA Championships, click here.

Track and Field

Men's Track Upsets Texas and Arkansas in Season Opener
The #12-ranked UCLA men's track and field team (149 points) opened the 2013 outdoor season with a huge upset over No. 2 Arkansas (84.50 points) and No. 4 Texas (147.50 points) Saturday at the Texas State Elite Meet.

The Bruins posted six event victories, three of them coming from senior captain Maxwell Dyce in the 4x100m relay, 100m dash and 200m dash. Also of note was the performance by redshirt junior Julian Wruck, who set the UCLA discus record of (65.04meters/213-5 feet) en route to a first-place finish.

The women's team had the weekend off but will join the men in Texas this week for the Texas Relays in Austin on March 27-30.

Save the Dates: UCLA Coaches to Go "On the Road" This Spring
Several UCLA coaches, highlighted by football coach Jim Mora, will hit the road for a cadre of events with fans throughout the Southland later this spring. The dates are as follows: May 29 (San Fernando Valley); June 5 (Orange County), June 11 (Pasadena) and June 22 (Orange County). Details will be announced in the coming weeks, but be sure to hold the date for the event in your area.

Olympic Sports Report

  • The swimming and diving team set four school records in Indianapolis last week at the season-ending NCAA Championships. The 17th-place finish as a team was the highest showing at the NCAA meet for UCLA since the 2006-2007 season.
  • The #4-ranked women's tennis team had a successful trip to the Pacific Northwest last week, posting a pair of wins over the Washington schools to improve to 13-2 overall and 4-0 in Pac-12 play. The Bruins return home to the Los Angeles Tennis Center this weekend, hosting Pac-12 rivals Stanford and Cal on Friday and Saturday, respectively.
  • The women's water polo team (#4 nationally) improved to 19-3 and 2-1 in the MPSF with a 14-7 win over league newcomer Cal State Bakersfield on Sunday. The Bruins hit the road this week to face San Jose State this Friday at 1 pm and are at Santa Clara for a 4 pm game the same day.
  • The #2-ranked men's tennis team had a week off from competition last week, as team members finished final exams. The Bruins (14-1) open Pac-12 play this weekend in the Bay Area, facing both Stanford and Cal.
  • The #5-ranked men's volleyball team takes its four-match winning streak to UC San Diego (Mar. 29) and UC Irvine (Mar. 30). The Bruins are in a tie for fourth place in the MPSF standings and aiming towards hosting a quarterfinal MPSF playoff match next month.
  • The #7-ranked baseball team took two out of three at home against California this weekend. The Bruins are now 17-4 on the year and 5-1 in conference play. UCLA will hit the road this week to face Arizona State in Tempe from March 28-30.
  • The #12-ranked softball team staged a valiant comeback attempt on Sunday but ultimately lost by a run, dropping a Pac-12 opening series to #2 Arizona State last weekend. The Bruins head to the Bay Area to face #15 Stanford Thursday, Friday and Saturday. The first two games of the series will be broadcast live on Pac-12 Networks.
  • The #7-ranked sand volleyball team hosted its first-ever home match at Annenberg Beach House in Santa Monica on Thursday, dropping a 3-2 decision to #9 Nebraska. The Bruins' next home match is on Wednesday, April 3 against Loyola Marymount.
  • The #10-ranked women's golf team is enjoying a week at the Spring Break Classic at The Bay Course in Kapalua, Maui, while four men's golfers (representing the #2 team in the nation) competed this week at the 33rd Anteater Invitational at El Niguel Country Club in Laguna Niguel.
  • 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.

Dana Point

Save the Date: Orange County Bruin Bash on June 22
Please save the date of Saturday, June 22 for the Orange County Bruin Bash, benefiting both UCLA Athletics and the Wooden Athletic Fund.

This year's event will take place in Dana Point at the Strand at Headlands, an oceanfront, gated community, and will feature head football coach Jim Mora and several UCLA Athletics legends.

Look for an official invitation in early May. If you have questions about this year's Orange County Bruin Bash, please contact UCLA Athletics Development at 310-206-3302 or visit woodenathleticfund.com.

Students: Contest Underway to Design Den T-Shirt for 2013-14 School Year
Now is the time for UCLA students to seize the opportunity to be a part of history and make their mark as a Bruin, by submitting their best design ideas for the 2013-14 Den T-Shirt.

Once all the entries are in, the top five designs will be voted on by the entire student body. The winning entry will receive a $500 gift card to the UCLA Store courtesy of Bank of the West and, of course, bragging rights!

For more information regarding creating and submitting a design, click here.

Attention: Volunteers Needed for Championship Events
Bruin fans, the UCLA Athletic Department could use your help when it hosts each of the four championships listed below later this spring:

  • April 19-21: NCAA Women's Gymnastics Championships, Pauley Pavilion
  • April 22-24: PAC-12 Women's Golf Championships, Valencia Country Club
  • April 29-May 1: PAC-12 Men's Golf Championships, Los Angeles Country Club
  • May 2-4: NCAA Men's Volleyball National Championships, Pauley Pavilion

We are looking for plenty of volunteers for a wide variety of tasks for all of these championships. If you are interested, or you know somebody that would be, we would love to hear from you.

If you have a question about a particular day, or would like to know the hours required, please contact Director of Championships Gavin Crew at 310-206-0696 or gcrew@athletics.ucla.edu so that he can put our volunteer list together.

Compliance Corner: Wagering On Sports
For anyone who has participated in college athletics, the NCAA's Don't Bet On It mantra to discourage sports gambling is a familiar refrain. The phrase is the NCAA's general reminder to student-athletes, coaches, and athletic department staff members that it is impermissible to place a wager of any kind on sports. This means we all pledge to avoid betting on fantasy sports, basketball pools, making on-line wagers or visiting Las Vegas sports books.

The ban covers all college and professional contests, including sports like ice hockey or NASCAR, even though they may seem unrelated to the daily life of the Bruins. This universal restriction is designed to keep everyone involved in college sports as far removed as possible from the sinister side of gambling.

One needs to only read about the recent point-shaving investigation of the University of San Diego's basketball program to understand the potential damaging consequences. At UCLA, we take these risks seriously and regularly educate our student-athletes to recognize the dangers of wagering.

To learn more from the NCAA about sports gambling, visit dontbetonit.org.

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