Valorie Kondos Field is the retired head coach of the seven-time NCAA Champion, 22-time Regional and 18-time Pac 12 Champion UCLA Women’s Gymnastics team. Inducted into the UCLA Athletic Hall of Fame in 2010, the four-time “National Coach of the Year” was also named “West Region Coach” of the Year and Pac 12 “Coach of the Century” for her solid track record as a preeminent coach.
Affectionately known by her gymnasts as “Miss Val,” her reputation is only one reason that 46 former US national team members came through her program and why half of the last two Olympic teams committed to UCLA. Valorie’s coaching success can be attributed to her extraordinary leadership and mentorship of young student-athletes, and the way in which she used gymnastics as an avenue through which to teach valuable life lessons, while encouraging individuality and joy. Something Valorie learned from the late John Wooden, the legendary and most successful collegiate basketball coach of all time, who was one of her biggest inspirations, as well as a close mentor and friend.
Valorie began her career as a professional ballet dancer and choreographer for the Washington, DC and Sacramento Ballet Companies. Although never a gymnast herself, she’s transferred to her student-athletes all she learned in the world of classical dance. The result of which resulted in nearly three decades of coaching one of the premiere athletic programs in any sport, mentoring hundreds of elite athletes, including Olympic champions Simone Biles, Jordon Wieber, Kyla Ross, Madison Kocian and Laurie Hernandez, along with viral sensations Katelyn Ohashi and Nia Dennis.
Also known as the nation’s foremost gymnastics choreographer, Miss Val’s many credits include choreographing and directing a myriad of live variety shows, such as the NCAA Opening Ceremonies for Women’s Basketball, a flash mob of famed female athletes and coaches at the inaugural Aurora Games, a Kareem Abdul-Jabbar roast, CBS’s “Jump, Jive & Thrive” Breast Cancer Research Foundation benefit, and 26 years of cirque-type shows for SeaWorld’s Summer Nights and the San Diego Zoo. Current projects include additional live stage shows, TV specials, events and the development of a theatrical musical, plus the highly anticipated post-Olympic “Gold Over America Tour” featuring an all-star team of female gymnastics champions, headlined by Simone Biles and also featuring Katelyn Ohashi, and is slated to visit more than 35 U.S. cities, celebrating powerful female athletes in a high-octane, fun-filled experience.
She is a dynamic and charismatic speaker with an extensive schedule of “Corporate Coaching” events for national companies including JP Morgan Chase, General Electric, Jackson National Life Insurance and Gucci, and has contributed to various panel discussions including Bustle’s “Rule Breakers” and the ESPNW Summit. In her TEDWomen 2019 talk, Miss Val inspires people to reevaluate their definition of success. She maintains that real success is developing champions in life, and that in order to motivate success, we need to inspire those whom we lead without compromising the human spirit.
As a recent breast cancer survivor, Valorie’s positive outlook and hope-filled message is impactful. She empowered her athletes to use their voices, to celebrate themselves, and to enjoy the elite sport that has damaged so many in the past. She also shared her motivating and inspirational messages with the world, with her book, LIFE IS SHORT, DON’T WAIT TO DANCE: Advice and Inspiration from the UCLA Athletic Hall of Fame Coach of 7 NCAA Championship Teams, which was released in Fall 2018 by the Hachette Book Group. It expounds on her life philosophy: “Don’t wait to see what life is going to hand you, take control of your life and design ~ choreograph it exactly how you want it to turn out.”
In her free time, Valorie is active with the UCLA Jonsson Cancer Center Foundation, LA 84 Olympic Foundation, WISE (Women In Sports & Events), BCRF (Breast Cancer Research Foundation), Unite For Her, and many other charitable organizations, close to her heart. She resides in Los Angeles, CA with her husband, retired UCLA Football Coach, Bobby Field.