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Longtime UCLA women's volleyball coach retires

January 26, 2010 12:00:00 AM PST
It's the end of an era at UCLA. Women's volleyball coach Andy Banachowski is retiring. Banachowski started coaching at UCLA shortly after Elvis Presley married Priscilla, back in 1967. But on Tuesday, UCLA Women's Volleyball Coach Andy Banachowski is calling it a career after 43 years on the job.

"I was just fortunate that I fell into coaching," said Banachowski . "And the passion just has burned and burned and burned."

After four decades at UCLA, he won six national titles. He has the most wins of any coach in women's volleyball history, having captured 1,106 wins.

"I know I will miss the kids," Banachowski said. "I love the challenge of putting a team together, and I think from my standpoint I will miss that."

UCLA Men's Basketball Coach John Wooden had just won his third of his 10 national championships in Westwood when Banachowski arrived at UCLA. That's why he says his longevity -- four-plus decades on the job -- is what's dear to his heart.

"Coaches are hired to be fired," he said. "I guess I missed that one, so I'm proud about that."

Over the course of four decades Banachowski produced 13 Olympians. But he had his greatest dominance in the early 1990s, producing back-to-back national champions.

"It is just a good group of kids who work hard, who are very competitive, and we just had a great combination of players out there," said Banachowski .

While Banachowski rides off into the coaching sunset, evidence of his success will always be hanging around with his national titles.