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Q&A: On the Move with UCLA Women’s Basketball Coach Cori Close

Coach Cori with her electric ride

UCLA women's basketball is always on the go, with the team making it to the Sweet 16 round in this year's NCAA Tournament. When head coach Cori Close comes to campus, she does the electric ride. For Cori, there's no madness in dealing with traffic, gas prices, or parking. Only March Madness. That's a win for her and the environment!

As the Bruins ready their moves for next season, we talked to their coach about commuting to UCLA by electric vehicle.

You've been head coach since 2011. What are some of the best parts of the job and challenges? 

The best part of my job is watching the growth of these student-athletes as players and young women. I am blessed to be able to coach such an amazing group of women that work so hard to be the best they can on and off the court. My biggest challenge would be the healthy tension between acknowledging the progress we have made in women’s sports but also still fighting for equity and our spot in the college basketball landscape.

Describe the typical day-to-day schedule. 

Typically, my days looks as follows: practice from 9 a.m. to noon, eat our post-practice meal together immediately after, then work in the office for the remainder of the business day. A mix of meetings with staff, film with our players, recruiting calls, and prepping for the upcoming week. Once I leave campus, I work on practice for the next day and sometimes have media calls or more recruiting calls to make. I try to squeeze in some time to relax and enjoy my beautiful view from home when I can.

On to getting to campus - where are you commuting from? 

I commute from my house in Bel-Air. It’s about 3 miles from campus.

How did you end up using a Pico Scooter for your commute? 

Pico Scooters (an environmentally friendly e-scooter that does not pollute the air during a ride because of its rechargeable battery, meaning zero emissions) support our student-athletes. I was very happy to partner with them and start riding! I am excited to go electric and to make better choices that are good for the environment.

Describe the benefits of this sustainable transportation. 

From a financial standpoint as well as an environmental standpoint, this commute mode is beneficial, being electric instead of using gas. And it is much easier to find parking with my scooter.

What would you say to other Bruins to encourage them to try a more sustainable ride? 

I encourage other Bruins to look into sustainable options. They are an affordable and easy step towards taking ourselves off of fossil fuel dependency and being more eco-friendly for our planet.

On Twitter, you've given Ride On! in Leimert Park a shoutout. Tell us more about this business

I have a tradition every game day to feature a Black-owned business and was excited to highlight a local shop that looks to help the community in getting active and being more eco-friendly as well. I love what Ride On! stands for and appreciate the work they are doing locally to help contribute towards these causes.

You also share your athletes' playlists on Twitter. What songs would be on your commute playlist? 

I love listening to gospel. My go-to car ride song is Melodies from Heaven by Kirk Franklin.

Lastly, John Wooden was one of your mentors. What are some of the lessons you learned from him, and what did that relationship mean to you? 

My relationship with Coach Wooden is one that I will treasure forever. He was such an intelligent man with the kindest heart. I am so appreciative of the time he took to invest in his relationship with me. Coach Wooden talked about creating nothing short of a transformational experience that helps these young adults reach elite levels in basketball but also prepares them for life. He was a big believer in equipping them for something bigger and deeper than basketball. He was truly an incredible coach, but an even better man.