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Fil-Am coach looks to make his mark with UCLA Bruins

Steve Angeles, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 01 2023 05:40 PM

From Alfee Reft's Instagram
From Alfee Reft's Instagram

The storied volleyball program of the University of California Los Angeles has a new head coach, and it's a Filipino-American who dedicated his life to the sport.

Alfee Reft was named coach in December 2022.

The Oxnard native played the sport at the University of Hawaii, eventually making the US national men's team and playing professionally overseas.

Reft served as an assistant coach for several major colleges before becoming UCLA's head coach. He is also an assistant coach for the US women's national team.

"It's been truly remarkable when you're doing something truly loved and invested in. I haven't really taken a lot of time to step away and kind of look back at my journey and be so immersed to be the best version of what you can be," he said. 

"Being a head coach is certainly an accomplishment in itself."

Relf's mother, Grace Carino, was a musician on tour when she met Relf's father. The family later on settled in California.

He visits the Philippines from time to time where his mother still lives in Pampanga province.

Relf went last summer along with the US national team. He shared that he enjoyed the Philippine volleyball scene.

"You can see the fans, the people in the Philippines really enjoying the sport. And then even on the professional level they hosted like club world championship," he said.

With UCLA last clinching the NCAA championship 12 years ago, Relf is now hard at work getting ready for the upcoming season.

"Already it feels like we're establishing some really good foundation for what going to do with this team," he said.

"We have [an] excellent staff here in UCLA people that I prize and I'm so excited to get to be on this journey with. The work is a lot, but it's no different from anywhere else at. We're up to the challenge."


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