Didn’t take very long for the UCLA to find a new head coach for its basketball team, as Dan Wetzel of Yahoo Sports, is reporting that Steve Alford will take over at the helm after Ben Holland was fired last week.
Alford arrives after six seasons at New Mexico where he averaged over 25 victories a season and reached three NCAA tournaments. The 48-year-old previously coached Iowa for eight seasons and Missouri State for four, reaching three more NCAA tournaments.
He may be best known for his All-American play at Indiana under Bob Knight in the mid-1980s. Alford spent four years in the NBA before getting into college coaching. His father, Sam, was a legendary high school coach in Indiana.
Alford’s current New Mexico team was his best, spending much of the season in the top 15 of the rankings and winning 29 games including the Mountain West regular-season and tournament championships. The season ended with disappointment when the Lobos were upset by Harvard in the NCAA tournament.
The firing of Holland came as a surprise to many because of the fact that he took the Bruins to three Final Fours in ten seasons, so Alford will have some pressure to at least match those accomplishments.
UCLA, were also said to be interested in VCU’s Shaka Smart and Butler’s Brad Stevens, but it appears the feeling wasn’t mutual. This might lead one to believe that the aura and prestige that accompanies the head coaching position at UCLA, must either be waning or too intimidating.