Already an assistant in Karch Kiraly’s national team staff, Alfred Reft is now taking over the legendary coach’s alma mater.
Reft was announced Monday as UCLA’s next women’s volleyball coach, bringing the women’s national team’s season assistant and former San Diego assistant head coach to Westwood for his first head coaching position. Reft is coming off a national semifinals with San Diego, a first for the school.
“I’m honored and couldn’t be more excited to lead a program as historic and storied as that at UCLA,” Reft said in a statement. “The line of excellence is thick and deep, resting on the shoulders of our alumni who have laid a foundation of greatness for future generations.”
Reft, a former Hawaii All-American libero, helped San Diego have their all-time best season in 2022. The Toreros (31-2) finished their second perfect conference season with an 18-0 in the West Coast Conference and had three AVCA All-American selections, including setter Gabby Blossom, who was the school’s second first-team honor. Reft served as acting head coach for two games in place of AVCA National Coach of the Year Jennifer Petrie, guiding the toreros in San Francisco and Santa Clara.
With UCLA’s upcoming move to the Big Ten, Reft won’t be shocked by the new conference, having served as an assistant in Minnesota (2010-12) and Illinois (2018-19). He helped the Illini to the Final Four in 2018.
Following his playing career, which included an alternate position for the 2008 Olympics, Reft served as a volunteer assistant coach for the United States men’s and women’s teams from 2016 to 2018. He was hired in December 2021 as a season assistant for the women’s team under Kiraly, a sports legend who won three NCAA titles as a player at UCLA, won Olympic gold medals indoors and on the beach, and led the US women’s team to its first Olympic gold in Tokyo.
“I’m over the moon for him,” Kiraly said in a statement. “He’s so ready as a person and as a coach to aim for the stars at Westwood.”
Reft takes over at UCLA from Michael Sealy, who resigned this month after 13 years at the helm. Since winning the national championship in Sealy’s sophomore year, the Bruins have only advanced to the Elite Eight once, in 2016. They finished that season 16-13 and missed the NCAA tournament.
https://www.latimes.com/sports/ucla/story/2022-12-19/ucla-hires-san-deigo-assitant-alfred-reft-womens-volleyball-coach UCLA hires Alfred Reft as women’s volleyball coach