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UCLA Magazine Fall 2002
The Little Marias
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Great Expectations

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Fall 2002
Great Expectations
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Toward that end, developing collaborative relationships with coaches is critical, Guerrero says. “I need to have an excellent sense of who the stewards of our programs are, and of how they run their programs, how they intend to achieve their objectives. By working with them directly, I believe we can achieve beyond what their expectations may be.”

In addition to balancing the goals of athletics and academics, the new AD also intends to continue the building program that began under Dalis, with an eye toward completing the Acosta Athletic Training Center, replacing the Men’s Gym pool, upgrading Drake Stadium and Easton Stadium and, eventually, improving Pauley Pavilion’s spectator amenities.

By his own admission, Guerrero has been preparing for this job his entire life. Born in Tucson, Ariz., he was 4 when his family moved to the blue-collar town of Wilmington, Calif. Guerrero’s father, Gene, worked long, difficult hours as a laborer for the Union Oil refinery; his mother, Esther, was a homemaker who raised Dan, his sister Nancy and brother Johnny.

“My father led a tough life, and he never wanted that for his children,” Guerrero says. “He always emphasized education. He encouraged me and helped me pursue my athletic dreams, as well.”

By age 7, Guerrero was playing baseball with the older kids, honing his defensive skills even as he often struck out at the plate. But he eventually learned how to hit, becoming an All-City baseball player at Banning High School and playing second base for UCLA for four years, from 1969-1973. His coaches and teammates affectionately dubbed him “Warrior” (which is what guerrero means in Spanish) for his competitive personality and style of play, which — along with his sizzling Pac-8 batting average of .343 — contributed to his being inducted into the UCLA Baseball Hall of Fame in 1996.

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