Student Athlete Development

Bruin Life SkillsBruin Athletic CouncilThe Wooden AcademyEducational WorkshopsStudent-Athlete MentorsCommunity OutreachProfessional Development

Ric Coy, Associate Director - Academic and Student Services, 310-825-6054,
The Bruin Life Skills Program strives to enhance the student-athlete experience within the University setting by coordinating educational programs that address personal growth, leadership, professional development, and community service. Our goal is to assist student-athletes with their transition to college, provide opportunities to enhance their college experience, support the development of a well-balanced lifestyle, and prepare student-athletes to be champions in life.

The Bruin Athletic Council (BAC) is a leadership group that consists of representatives from all 25 Bruin teams. They meet every three weeks throughout the academic year. This select group provides an important voice to the athletic administration, and serves as a forum to offer input regarding the student-athlete experience, programming ideas/needs, community outreach projects, Pac-12 and NCAA legislation. The BAC is responsible for communicating information on upcoming events to their teams and coaches, while working to create unity among all athletic teams.

Wooden Academy The Wooden Academy is a comprehensive leadership development program designed to educate and support the standards of leadership for Bruin student-athletes. The pillars of the Wooden Academy are teamwork, leadership and character. The program is named after legendary Coach John Wooden, and strives to teach the values and principles of his Pyramid of Success. We believe that these skills will assist student-athletes in their pursuit to be successful leaders and teammates at UCLA, and as they prepare to be champions in life. Student-athletes will have the opportunity to participate in the Wooden Academy each year by attending seminars and learning practical leadership lessons from coaches, administrators and Bruin alumni.

  • Wooden Academy Seminars: These seminars bring back Bruin alums to share their stories and experiences with our student-athletes. Each speaker is asked to focus on a block of the Pyramid, and share how that particular skill helped them be successful as a student-athlete and in their transition into life after sports. All student-athletes are required to attend two Wooden Academy Seminars per academic year.
  • Leadership Development Program: This program is designed to teach freshman and transfers the skills they need to lead themselves and effectively work with others. Our goal is to create a strong network of future Bruin leaders. Bruin coaches and staff members present interactive workshops on leadership topics throughout the year. Freshman and transfers are required to attend a certain number of the Leadership Development Programs each year.

Life skills workshops are provided to student-athletes on topics such as interpersonal communication (DiSC Assessments), leadership, teambuilding, substance use and misuse, nutrition, etiquette, social networking, time and stress management. These workshops are conducted by Athletic Department staff, UCLA staff or faculty, or community professionals.


The Student-Athlete Mentor Program (SAMS) was reintroduced in the winter of 2010. The purpose of this group is to provide each team with a representative(s) that will be trained and able to serve as a role model and resource to his or her teammates and other student-athletes. SAMS will deal with a variety of issues, including but not limited to: alcohol and drug abuse, nutrition and eating disorders, basic counseling and referral skills, safety, stress, sexual harassment and misconduct. The members of SAMs are committed to displaying a positive image to fellow athletes by providing help and support through education, awareness, and the promotion of healthy lifestyles.


Bruin student-athletes, coaches and staff have the opportunity to participate in community outreach activities on campus and throughout the Los Angeles area. These opportunities include: food and clothing drives, Marathon Kids, Dribble for the Cure, participation in elementary school activities and reading days, and visits to Mattel Children's Hospital. Bruins also have the opportunity to volunteer for individual speaking engagements and events, participate in sports clinics, the "I'm Going to College" program, and Adopt-a-Classroom (pen pal program). These service opportunities give student-athletes a chance to mentor youth, give back to the community and serve as ambassadors for UCLA Athletics.

NOTE: All student-athletes and coaches must receive prior written approval to participate in any charitable or non-profit activities. Please complete the Community Outreach Form to make a special request.

UCLA Athletics encourages student-athletes to start their career development once they arrive on campus. Student-athletes should visit the career center and meet with a career coach for assistance with career choices. In addition to the numerous career planning workshops that are offered through the Career Center the Athletic Department hosts professional development opportunities for student-athletes. Our goal is to provide opportunities for students to identify their transferable skills and prepare for the transition from their athletic career to the professional world. Career information is also posted in the Kneller Academic Center.

Throughout each academic year, the Athletic Department hosts professional development events, such as: Graduate and Professional School Panels, Alumni Career Panels, Dining and Professional Etiquette and Life After Sports Workshops. The Bruin Varsity Club also hosts Bruin Networking Nights that give current student-athletes the opportunity to network and get career tips from Bruin alums.


  • Athletes to Business
    Athletes to Business (A2B) provides one-on-one career planning, resume development, and assistance with interviewing skills. A2B assists student-athletes, who have exhausted their athletic eligibility, in arranging interviews with several Fortune 500 Companies. They are dedicated to coaching, counseling and placing highly talented student-athletes into the corporate world. For more information, contact Ross Lerner, 818-802-1156 or Ashley Armstrong, 310-206-7121.
  • Career Athletes
    Career Athletes provides current and former student-athletes the opportunity to build a professional network with current/alumni student-athletes and business organizations that are interested in hiring student-athletes. They provide numerous on-line career development resources and post-graduate job opportunities to assist student-athletes in their transition from competitive athletics to the work place.

501 Westwood Plaza (at Strathmore), Floors 2 & 3, 310-206-1915
UCLA's Career Center assigns a specific career counselor to each sport to help student-athletes work towards career plans after college. Student-athletes can schedule an appointment with their assigned career counselor to discuss career-related questions or concerns.

Team Career Coach Phone Number Email Address
Baseball John Coate 310-206-1967
M Basketball Jordan Maness 310-206-1920
W Basketball Sheila Benko 310-206-1940
W Diving Jordan Maness 310-206-1920
Football John Coate 310-206-1967
M/W Golf John Coate 310-206-1967
W Gymnastics Roni Lavi 310-206-1910
W Rowing Sanaz Nabati 310-206-1936
M Soccer Sanaz Nabati 310-206-1936
W Soccer Sheila Benko 310-206-1940
Softball Grace Park 310-206-1906
W Swimming Jordan Maness 310-206-1920
M/W Tennis Markell Steele 310-825-1624
M Track/Cross Country John Taborn 310-206-1025
W Track/Cross Country Precious Robinson 310-206-1932
M Volleyball Karol Johansen 310-206-1934
W Volleyball Grace Park 310-206-1906
M Water Polo Roni Lavi 310-206-1910
W Water Polo Jordan Maness 310-206-1920

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