UCLA signs water polo coach Adam Wright to six-year extension

"The Bruin Bear"  on the campus of UCLA in Westwood.
“The Bruin Bear” on the campus of UCLA in Westwood.
(Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)

Adam Wright was the first coach to win an NCAA title under Martin Jarmond and the UCLA athletic director is ensuring the water polo coach will stick around to try for more.

UCLA signed Wright to a six-year contract extension Tuesday, keeping the four-time NCAA championship-winning coach through the 2028 season.

After winning two national titles as a player for the Bruins, Wright coached the men’s program to championships in 2014, 2015, 2017 and 2020. He took over the program in 2009 and added head coach duties for the women’s program following the 2017 season.

The Olympic silver medalist led the men’s team to an unprecedented 57-game winning streak while winning back-to-back national championships and has overseen a resurgence of the women’s program that returned to the national championship game last year for the first time since 2017.


Though officially contested in spring 2021, UCLA’s 2020 men’s national championship was the first during Jarmond’s tenure at UCLA. The season was delayed because of the COVID-19 pandemic, which caused an overlap between the men’s and women’s seasons. Wright coached both teams simultaneously.

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“It takes a special kind of leader to build both a men’s and a women’s water polo program, and to sustain them at an elite level simultaneously,” Jarmond said in a statement. “Adam is that leader. He brings out the best in the young men and women he coaches.”

The women’s team, hoping to win its first NCAA title since 2009, is 21-1 this season and 3-0 in conference.