UCLA hires Steve Alford to replace Ben Howland as their head basketball coach

UCLA has finally found someone to take their head coaching job

3/30/13 in NCAABB   |   Pat   |   5232 respect

Feb 08, 2013; Las Vegas, NV, New Mexico Lobos head coach Steve Alford coaches against the UNLV Runnin' Rebels in the second half at the Thomas and Mack Center. UNLV won 64-55. Mandatory Credit: Josh Holmberg-USA TODAY SportsAfter a pretty long search, the storied UCLA basketball program finally has a new head coach.

Steve Alford, whose #3 seeded New Mexico team lost to Harvard in the first round of the NCAA tournament, will take over for Ben Howland, who was fired after UCLA also lost in the first round, to Minnesota.

Howland was actually pretty successful with the Bruins, going 230-105 in 10 seasons with 7 tournament appearances, including 3 straight Final Four appearances.

That might be one of the reasons UCLA had a hard time finding someone to accept the job. VCU coach Shaka Smart and Butler's Brad Stevens were two prominent names that turned down the job to stay with their mid-major schools, and several other names were thrown around as well. It's unclear how many actually received offers.

Alford should do well at UCLA, considering the fact that he did extremely well at New Mexico. They were 155-52 in 6 seasons, with 3 NCAA tournament appearances, and 3 NIT appearances.

It appears to be getting harder for great basketball programs to bring in great young coaches, because of the changes that have been seen in college basketball lately. As Andy Katz points out, many coaches are staying where they are, because they can make good money and bring in good players, even in mid-major conferences. There's also a lot more job security, because they won't get fired after winning their conference and making a tourney appearance, like Howland did at UCLA.

What do you think about this hire? Is Steve Alford the right guy for UCLA?
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4/1/13   |   bradmorrell

Alford will be a monumental improvement to the UCLA basketball program. Howland was lackluster, stubborn, and had less than desirable interpersonal skills with his players. Alford, on the other hand, plays an uptempo style and had great rapport with his players.  This should attract recruits that otherwise would not considered playing under Howland.  Time will tell but it won't happen overnight. 

3/31/13   |   Akida360   |   26 respect

Steve Alford and UCLA probably need each other at this time. He should do a good job if they give him at least three years before talking about firing him though.

3/30/13   |   genobibb007   |   18277 respect

Lateral move for Steve Alford, him being in L.A. doesn't appear to be a good fit. But I don't blame him, he will make a lot more money being in southern California, One thing for sure he will have a  lot more distractions in La La land, but on the other hand, there are many more things to in the city of Angels

3/30/13   |   Scott   |   52675 respect

Alford did a great job with New Mexico but no way is he a better coach or even a step up over what UCLA had with Ben Howland.