2018, 2010, 2004, 2003, 2001, 2000, 1997 NCAA Championships
2001, 2000, 1997, 1996 National Coach of the Year
2018 West Region Head Coach of the Year
4-time Conference Coach of the Year
18 Pac-12 Championships and 22 Regional Championships as head and assistant coach
Coached 20 athletes to 36 NCAA Individual Championships as head and assistant coach
2010 UCLA Athletics Hall Of Fame Inductee
Pac-12 Gymnastics Coach of the Century
Overall Coaching Record
UCLA head coach Valorie Kondos Field has positioned her Bruins as one of the premier programs in collegiate gymnastics with seven NCAA championships. Not only has she consistently recruited and coached some of the top talent in the world, but she has produced the results, totaling over 500 career regular season victories in her 28-year career.
The Bruins won their first NCAA championship in 1997 under Kondos Field and won again in back-to-back seasons in both 2000-2001 and 2003-2004. In 2010, UCLA won its sixth NCAA title with a 24-for-24 performance in the Super Six, and in 2018, the Bruins used a record-breaking performance on balance beam to complete an improbable comeback in the final rotation that catapulted them to their seventh crown.
UCLA has remained the Leader of the Pac during Kondos Field’s tenure, winning 14 conference titles, including the inaugural Pac-12 title in 2012, to go along with 19 NCAA Regional titles. In 2018, UCLA swept through the postseason, winning the Pac-12, Regional and NCAA team titles, along with Pac-12 all-around, uneven bars, balance beam and floor exercise individual titles and the NCAA beam and floor individual titles.
Kondos Field has been selected by her peers as the NACGC/W National Coach of the Year four times (1996, 1997, 2000 and 2001) and was also named the Pac-12 Coach of the Year in 1995, 2000, 2003 and 2012 and the West Region Head Coach of the Year in 2018. In 2010, she became just the second active coach to be inducted into the UCLA Athletics Hall of Fame. She was honored by the Pac-12 Conference in 2016 as the Pac-12 Gymnastics Coach of the Century, and in 2017, she won a Los Angeles Chapter of Women in Sports and Events (WISE Los Angeles) Women of Inspiration Award.
Kondos Field emphasizes a team concept, but her student-athletes have also found individual success, winning 30 NCAA individual titles during her years as head coach.
But even with all of her successes on the court, what gives Kondos Field most satisfaction is seeing her student-athletes succeed in all facets of their lives. Academics is a big part of that equation, and Kondos Field’s teams regularly place members on the Conference All-Academic teams and Scholastic All-American squads, and in 2018 Christine Peng-Peng Lee was honored as the Pac-12 Gymnastics Scholar-Athlete of the Year.
With legendary UCLA basketball coach John Wooden as her role model and cherished friend, Kondos Field’s coaching philosophy stresses balance and integrity.
“Growing up in the classical dance world, I spent the majority of my youth in a very disciplined environment,” she said. “The reward was the self-satisfaction that came from the culmination of months of hard work in preparation for our performances and knowing I did my best to become the best I was capable of becoming. The reward wasn’t monetary or about ‘winning’; instead, it was being able to have pride in a job well done.”
“In a sport as subjective as gymnastics, it’s important to have an honest internal voice that knows when you’ve done your best even if your ‘score’ says you didn’t ‘win’, and conversely knowing when you can push harder even if your ‘score’ says you are the ‘champion’,” she continued. “That inner voice, known as integrity, is vital in living life to its fullest and enjoying the journey in every aspect of life.”
A breast cancer survivor, Kondos Field’s positive outlook throughout her journey has resonated profoundly with her student-athletes and with fans, leading to her mantra “Life is Short, Don’t Wait to Dance.” She has authored a book with that title, which will be released in October through Hachette Book Group. Her book shares insights and advice on how to use uniqueness and authenticity to achieve success.
Kondos Field’s professional journey has been a unique one. A former professional ballet dancer with the Sacramento Ballet, Capital City Ballet and Washington, D.C. Ballet, she initially got her start in gymnastics at Agilites in Carmichael, Calif. by playing the piano for floor exercise music. From there, she became a dance coach, and under the guidance of former University of Minnesota head coach Jim Stephenson, learned the fundamentals of the sport.
In 1983, she was hired to be UCLA’s assistant coach and choreographer. While working under head coach Jerry Tomlinson, Kondos Field helped put UCLA Gymnastics on the map with their distinctive choreography and flair. The Bruins earned NCAA runner-up finishes in 1984 and 1989 and won six NCAA individual titles from 1987-89.
Kondos Field was appointed head coach of the Bruins in 1991 and brought in Scott Bull as her co-head coach. The duo earned West Region Co-Coach of the Year honors in 1993 and in 1994. As the sole head coach in 1995, she earned Pac-10 and West Region coaching honors and guided her team to first-place finishes at the Pac-10 and Regional Championships. Just one year later, she led the Bruins to a runner-up finish at the NCAA Championships, and in 1997 she became just the fourth coach in NCAA history to win a national title.
She is recognized as one of the top beam and floor choreographers in the sport. Under her guidance, UCLA has formed a reputation of having the most unique and artistic routines in the nation, and a Bruin floor exercise routine has gone viral in each of the last three years. Kondos Field has choreographed 20 NCAA championship routines on beam and floor, including an unprecedented three consecutive on floor from Kim Hamilton from 1987-89. She also earned the Choreography of the Year Award at the 2004 Canadian National Championships for Kate Richardson’s floor exercise routine.
Kondos Field has also come to be recognized for her recruiting ability. Since becoming head coach, she has attracted to UCLA some of the top talent in the U.S. and abroad, including Olympic medalists Madison Kocian, Kyla Ross, Samantha Peszek, Mohini Bhardwaj, Tasha Schwikert, Kristen Maloney, and Jamie Dantzscher.
More impressively, however, under Kondos Field’s tutelage, many of these top recruits went on to compete at the elite level both during and after their collegiate careers. Danusia Francis competed at the 2015 World Championships ahead of her senior year at UCLA and two years after graduating placed 12th at the 2018 Pan American Championships. Anna Li made the U.S. Olympic team as an alternate in 2012, two years after finishing her senior season at UCLA. In the summer of 2010, Vanessa Zamarripa made the U.S. National Team with an eighth-place finish at her first U.S. Championships. In 2004, Kate Richardson became only the second female gymnast to compete at the Olympic Games as a collegiate athlete. She was joined in Athens by another Bruin, Mohini Bhardwaj, who captained the U.S. team to a team silver medal three years after her senior season at UCLA. Both Richardson and Bhardwaj qualified for the floor exercise finals, with Bhardwaj placing sixth and Richardson placing seventh with her Kondos Field-choreographed routine. In 1999, Kondos Field coached then-UCLA junior Heidi Moneymaker at her first USA Championships, and Moneymaker, Bhardwaj and Lena Degteva all represented UCLA at the 1999 World University Games.
A freelance choreographer with extensive experience in the entertainment and gymnastics fields, Kondos Field is currently developing a live theatrical musical. She was the co-executive producer for the 2017 TV special “Jump, Jive & Thrive”, which combined gymnastics, dance and music to benefit the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. For the past 26 years, she has helped to create, direct and choreograph Sea World’s Summer Nights shows, and her Riptide show won a national award for Best Overall Production: $1,000,000 - $2,000,000 or More at the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) 2007 Big “E” Awards. In the summer of 1991, Kondos Field choreographed a summer acrobatic festival held in Lennestadt, Germany. She has also become a highly sought-after public speaker.
Kondos Field is married to former UCLA Associate Athletic Director and football coach Bobby Field, who was inducted into the UCLA Athletics Hall of Fame in 2017. The duo are the first married Hall of Fame duo in UCLA Athletics history. Kondos Field graduated from UCLA in 1987 with a degree in history.