This is the third time the UCLA men’s and women’s water polo teams have had the same head coach. The other two coaches to do that are in the UCLA Athletics Hall of Fame. Guy Baker coached both teams from 1995 to 2000 and Adam Krikorian coached both programs from 2000 to 2009.
Having one elite coach heading both programs has worked well in the past for the Bruins. Baker’s women’s teams won four national titles and his men’s teams won three national titles. Krikorian won eight women’s titles and three men’s titles.
Wright already has two men’s titles under his belt. His teams won UCLA’s 112th and 113th NCAA titles in 2014 and 2015, respectively. The 2015 title is UCLA’s most recent NCAA title.
In UCLA’s announcement, Wright welcomed the opportunity to add the duties with the women’s team. Wright said:
I am extremely honored to serve as the head coach for both UCLA men's and women's water polo teams. It is an incredible opportunity to coach the most storied program in women's water polo. The foundation is already in place for both teams, and I am really looking forward to this new challenge.
As head coach of the men’s team, Wright is already an accomplished coach. In addition to winning two titles, Wright led the Bruins to an NCAA 57 consecutive victories from 2014 through 2016, blowing past Stanford’s old record of 51 consecutive wins.
This isn’t the first time Wright has coached both teams. In 2008-2009, he served as an assistant to Adam Krikorian on both teams, helping lead the women’s team to their fifth consecutive NCAA title.