UCLA Director of Athletics Dan Guerrero, who has led the Bruins for 17 years, will retire July 1, 2020. UCLA Chancellor Gene Block shared the news in a message to the campus community today.
“I appreciate Dan’s dedication to our campus, fans and student-athletes throughout his career at UCLA,” Block wrote. “A proud alumnus, Dan has helped lead our teams to numerous victories, while also demonstrating a commitment to advancing women’s opportunities in athletics, maintaining high academic standards for student-athletes and keeping UCLA programs in compliance with NCAA and other requirements.”
A national search for the next athletic director will be conducted by a professional search firm to be identified this fall. Although Guerrero’s contract was set to expire in December, he agreed to remain in the post until the end of the upcoming academic year, at Block’s request, to maintain continuity in the program and to allow adequate time to identify a replacement.
“Today is bittersweet for me and for my family, as UCLA has been a part of my life for more than 50 years,” Guerrero said. “It truly has been the honor of a lifetime to serve this world-class university and, more importantly, to befriend so many incredible Bruins along the way. I am so grateful to Chancellors Carnesale, Abrams and Block for their confidence in my leadership and incredible partnerships over the years, and to the many student-athletes, coaches and colleagues with whom I have had the privilege of working.
“Two significant changes in my life over the past 18 months led me to this decision after much consideration and discussion with my family and the chancellor. First, though it was not widely known, I successfully battled the toughest opponent I have ever had to face in my life: cancer. The world-class medical team at UCLA, however, helped me beat the disease and my prognosis for the future is excellent. Second, my wife and I recently welcomed our second granddaughter, and spending time with our growing family is incredibly important to me. For these reasons, it is time for me to step aside and for UCLA Athletics to flourish under new leadership while I focus on my health and on my family. In the remaining year ahead, we still have a great deal of work to do and championships to win, and I look forward to every minute of it.”
The Bruins have won 32 NCAA team championships in 15 different sports during Guerrero’s tenure — the most under any sitting NCAA Division I athletic director — and he was at the department’s helm when UCLA Athletics became the first to win 100 NCAA team championships. The Bruins’ 118 NCAA titles ranks second in the nation. Seven of the head coaches Guerrero hired have led their teams to NCAA championships, and UCLA teams have also finished second 29 times and have totaled 130 Top 5 NCAA finishes since he was hired.
During Guerrero’s tenure, UCLA has won 73 conference championships in 16 different sports, produced more than 800 All-Americans and featured 11 Honda Award winners, including the 2003–04 and the 2018–19 Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year.
He has spearheaded in excess of $430 million in facilities upgrades, including the renovation of Pauley Pavilion and the construction of the Wasserman Football Center and the Mo Ostin Basketball Center.
Guerrero came to UCLA after serving as director of athletics at UC Irvine from 1992 to 2002, helping to elevate that program to unprecedented success. Prior to that, he worked at Cal State Dominguez Hills, where he led that program to national prominence while serving as athletic director from 1988 to 1992).
He earned his bachelor’s degree from UCLA in 1974 and played second base for the Bruins baseball team for four years. Known as “Warrior” during his playing career, Guerrero was inducted into the UCLA Baseball Hall of Fame in 1996.
Read the UCLA Athletics news release.