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Texas Poaches Longtime UCLA Beach Volleyball Coach Stein Metzger

Associate head coach Jenny Johnson Jordan will take over for the Bruins in an interim capacity with Metzger going to Austin.
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The Bruins are losing the man who helped build their program from the ground up.

UCLA beach volleyball coach Stein Metzger is leaving Westwood, taking the top job at Texas on Tuesday. The Longhorns just completed their first season at the varsity level, but went just 1-12 in their debut Division I campaign.

Metzger had been at UCLA since its own inaugural season in 2013, and he helped lead the team to back-to-back NCAA championships in 2018 and 2019, plus a few runner-up finishes in 2021 and 2023.

Associate head coach Jenny Johnson Jordan is taking over as the Bruins' interim head coach, effective immediately. Johnson Jordan had been on Metzger's staff since 2014.

Both Metzger and Johnson Jordan were inducted into the UCLA Athletics Hall of Fame for their accomplishments as student-athletes. Under their leadership as coaches, the Bruins became a perennial powerhouse on the beach.

"These past 11 seasons have been an amazing journey, and I'm very grateful to Dan Guerrero and his staff for giving me the opportunity to build the foundation for this program," Metzger said in a statement released by the team. "I'm also very thankful to Martin Jarmond and his staff for their unwavering support of me and the Bruins' beach volleyball program. I'm forever indebted to my friend and coaching partner, Jenny Johnson Jordan, who has tirelessly been there by my side through the last decade as we built this national power together."

Metzger's ties to UCLA go all the way back to his days on the indoor men's volleyball team 30 years ago. The Bruins won NCAA titles in 1993, 1995 and 1996 with Metzger as their setter, before he left to represent Team USA on the beach at the 2004 Athens Olympics.

In 2013, Metzger was hired as UCLA's first beach volleyball coach. The Bruins emerged as a title contender in 2016 – the first year the NCAA held a championship for women's beach volleyball – but they lost in the semifinals that season.

UCLA went on to win two national championships and three Pac-12 championships from 2018 to 2023. The Bruins were unable to secure a third title just last week, losing 3-2 to crosstown rival USC despite a record-breaking regular season.

Metzger leaves Westwood with a 266-61 career record.

"With the success Stein has had throughout his career, it is no surprise that he has been in high demand. We are very thankful for everything he has done for UCLA throughout his time as a national champion student-athlete and coach and wish him all the best." said athletic director Martin Jarmond said in a statement. "We are also fortunate to have Jenny remain on staff as the interim head coach. Jenny has played such a pivotal role in bringing this program to the powerhouse it is today."  

Jarmond didn't have to make any head coaching moves through his first 18 months in Westwood, but he has been filling holes constantly over the past year-plus.

First, women's soccer coach Amanda Cromwell left UCLA to take the top job with the Orlando Pride of the NWSL in December 2021. In the spring of 2022, gymnastics coach Chris Waller resigned and men's golf coach Derek Freeman's retirement became official. Women's volleyball coach Michael Sealy, meanwhile, stepped down in December 2022, and women's golf coach Carrie Vorsyth announced her retirement in April.

UCLA hired Margueritte Aozasa as its women's soccer coach in December 2021, followed by Janelle McDonald as its gymnastics coach in May 2022. Previn Chandraratna shed his interim tag and became the full-time women's rowing coach in June 2022, and Armen Kirakossian was named men's golf coach two weeks after that. Alfred Reft signed on as women's volleyball coach in December 2022.

Aozasa and McDonald appear to be home run hires based on their first seasons in Westwood – the former won an NCAA championship and the latter lifted her program back to nationals and back into the spotlight.

In its press release on the beach volleyball coaching change, UCLA Athletics did not include its standard line about a national search beginning for Metzger's full-time replacement.

Johnson Jordan played for UCLA women's volleyball three decades ago, winning a national championship in 1991 and finishing runner-up in 1992 and 1994. As a longtime Metzger assistant with strong Bruin ties of her own, she may be a strong candidate to become the official head coach in the near future.

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