Sunday, May 24

Brandon Brooks steps down as UCLA women’s water polo coach

Brandon Brooks never won an NCAA title as coach of the women's water polo team. UCLA announced that he'll be stepping down Thursday. (Amy Dixon/Assistant Photo editor)

Eight seasons and three NCAA finals appearances later, UCLA women’s water polo coach Brandon Brooks’ time in Westwood is ending.

Brooks, who also competed on the men’s team from 1999 to 2002, is stepping down to pursue other opportunities.

“Since 1999, I have given my all to UCLA,” Brooks told UCLA Athletics. “It is with a heavy heart I that have decided to step aside as head coach for the Bruins and let someone else lead this incredible program. I am proud of what our teams have accomplished over the past eight seasons, and I wish our student-athletes the very best as they move forward in their education and in their careers.”

As a head coach, Brooks guided the Bruins to four Mountain Pacific Sports Federation championships and three runner-up finishes at the NCAA championships, most recently in May when No. 1 UCLA fell to Stanford.

[Related: Women’s water polo drops NCAA championship to Stanford in final minute]

The Bruins took the NCAA title in five straight years before Brooks took the helm in 2010.

Brooks, a two-time Olympian and 2008 Olympic Silver medalist, was first an assistant coach for the men’s and women’s water polo team. From 2006 to 2009, he helped then-head coach Adam Krikorian lead the women to three NCAA titles, including UCLA’s 100th NCAA title overall.

He had a 202-41 overall record as a head coach, earning MPSF Coach of the Year honors in 2012, 2015 and 2017.

“Brandon’s teams contended for national championships every season, and he upheld the UCLA water polo program’s long tradition of success,” said UCLA Director of Athletics Dan Guerrero in a release. “We wish him and his family all the best in the future.”

Brooks’ players were not notified of his departure until Thursday, the same day UCLA Athletics released its statement online.

The athletic department’s search for a replacement coach will begin immediately per its press release.


Dam joined the Bruin as a sophomore in 2014 and contributed until after she graduated in 2017. She was the Sports editor for the 2016-2017 academic year and spent time on the football, men's basketball, gymnastics, women's water polo, men's soccer, men's tennis, women's tennis and women's golf beats.

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