Women’s volleyball programme at UCLA has a new coach in Alfred Reft.


He’s already an assistant on Karch Kiraly’s national team staff, and now Alfred Reft will take over at the legendary coach’s alma mater.

Reft was announced as UCLA’s next women’s volleyball coach on Monday, bringing the women’s national team seasonal assistant and former San Diego associate head coach to Westwood for his first head coaching position. Reft is coming off a national semifinal appearance with San Diego, a first for the school.

“I am honored and could not be more excited to lead such a historic and storied program like the one at UCLA,” Reft said in a statement. “The lineage of excellence is thick and runs deep, resting on the shoulders of our alumni who have laid a foundation of greatness for future generations to come.”

Reft, a former All-American libero at Hawaii, helped San Diego to its best season ever in 2022. The Toreros (31-2) completed their second perfect conference season by going 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 honoree. Reft served as acting head coach for two games in place of AVCA national coach of the year Jennifer Petrie and led the Toreros to sweeps of San Francisco and Santa Clara.

With UCLA’s upcoming move to the Big Ten, Reft won’t be shell-shocked by the new conference after serving as an assistant at Minnesota (2010-12) and Illinois (2018-19). He helped the Illini to the Final Four in 2018.

After his playing career, which included an alternate position for the 2008 Olympics, Reft served as a volunteer assistant coach for the U.S. men’s and women’s teams in 2016-18. He was hired as a seasonal assistant for the women’s team in December 2021 under Kiraly, a legend in the sport who won three NCAA titles as a player at UCLA, won Olympic gold medals in indoor and on the beach and led the U.S. women team to its first Olympic gold in Tokyo.

“I am beyond ecstatic for him,” Kiraly said in a statement. “He’s so ready as a person and a coach to aim for the stars in Westwood.”

Reft will take over at UCLA for Michael Sealy, who stepped down this month after 13 years at the helm. Since winning the national championship in Sealy’s second year, the Bruins have managed to advance to the Elite Eight only once, in 2016. They finished 16-13 this season and missed the NCAA tournament.

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