UCLA gymnastics head coach Valorie Kondos Field, who has led the Bruins to all seven of their NCAA championships, will retire following the 2019 season.
A former professional ballerina with no previous sports or athletic coaching experience, Kondos Field will enter her 29th and final year as head coach and 37th year on the UCLA coaching staff. She began her coaching career as an assistant coach and choreographer in 1983 and became the head coach in 1991. Six seasons later, in 1997, she led the Bruins to their first-ever NCAA title, and they have gone on to win six more team titles, including the most recent in 2018.
“I have had the immense privilege and pleasure of serving this university and athletic department for the past 36 years,” Kondos Field said. “UCLA has offered me opportunities that I could never have dreamed of, from a world-class education, to being part of an athletic team despite never having played organized sports in my life, to being able to mentor and teach life lessons to incredible young women. I have enjoyed every moment of this journey, and I will deeply miss all of the wonderful people that make up UCLA Athletics, and, most importantly, the daily interaction with our student-athletes, coaches and staff. However, I will forever be our most ardent supporter and look forward to continuing the dance in a different role but always as a proud UCLA Bruin.”
Read the full news release.