Thursday, May 28

Men’s water polo coach Adam Wright to also head women’s team

UCLA's national search for a new women's water polo coach concluded in Westwood. Adam Wright, who already coaches the men's team, will now also coach the women's team. (Daily Bruin file photo)

The winningest coach in Westwood will now be on the pool deck twice as often.

Adam Wright, who has coached the men’s water polo team for the last eight seasons, was also named coach of the UCLA women’s water polo team Thursday afternoon.

In addition to winning the Bruins’ two most recent national championships, the two-time Division I Coach of the Year has the highest winning percentage among active NCAA coaches, and the highest winning percentage for any coach in UCLA history. It ranks nearly six full points higher than John Wooden’s.

Of his 206 total wins at the helm of the men’s program, 57 came in consecutive fashion, which broke the NCAA men’s water polo record for most victories in a row.

[Related: Men’s water polo coach Adam Wright hits 200th career win]

Wright takes the reins from Brandon Brooks, who coached the women’s team to three second-place finishes from 2010-2017, and to four Mountain Pacific Sports Federation championships.

Wright’s total gross pay was $198,835, with Brooks’ coming in at $128,509 in 2015 per

Before Brooks took over for now-women’s senior national team coach Adam Krikorian, the women’s team had won five straight national championships. Krikorian was the most recent UCLA coach to head up both the men’s and women’s water polo programs. USC’s water polo coach, Jovan Vavic, also coaches both teams.

This year, UCLA had the No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament after a one-loss regular season campaign, but fell to No. 2 Stanford in the national championship game.

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

UCLA, with Wright now at the helm, will enter 2018 without a star-studded senior class that included Olympian and UCLA record-holder Rachel Fattal, as well as senior national team members Kodi Hill and Alys Williams, but will return rising sophomore leading scorer Maddie Musselman and rising junior starting goalie Carlee Kapana.

Gottlieb joined the Bruin as a freshman in 2014 and contributed until he graduated in 2018. He was the Sports editor for the 2017-2018 academic year, an assistant Sports editor for the 2016-2017 academic year and spent time on the football, men's basketball, baseball, softball, women's volleyball, men's golf and women's golf beats.

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