Valorie Kondos Field
Class of 1987
Head Coach, UCLA Gymnastics
Even cancer couldn’t stop this coach.
All the UCLA gymnasts wore leotards with rose-colored trim for the Pink-Out Meet. And head coach Valorie Kondos Field grabbed the mike to tell the world about her breast cancer and successful chemotherapy. Her message: “Don’t go to fear. Stay on hope.” After a 2014 diagnosis, she continued to coach between chemo sessions, missing only one meet. A careful observer might have noticed fewer new routines. Otherwise it was gymnastics as usual for the UCLA Hall of Fame coach, whose indomitable will, passion for excellence, and ability to connect with people were fueled by her close relationship with legendary Bruin coach John Wooden. The student athletes on “Miss Val’s” teams have won six NCAA team championships and 28 individual titles, including the 2016 beam title. Last year, Kondos Field was named Pac-12 Coach of the Century. “Be anxious for nothing and grateful for all things,” she says.