Ben Howland was fired as head coach for the UCLA Bruins after a fairly successful career last weekend and rumors have been circulating around ever since about who the next coach would be. The names linked to the position move included Shaka Smart of VCU and Brad Stevens of Butler. Both coaches snubbed UCLA to remain at their own programs, but the Bruins have now found a new head coach in New Mexico’s Steve Alford.
Alford had been the Lobos head coach for five seasons and has compiled a 126-46 record in an increasingly difficult Mountain West conference. New Mexico has won three of the last four conference titles and the Lobos are also 12-6 over nationally ranked opponents during Alford’s time. New Mexico set records for winning streaks and total season wins with him as head coach.
UCLA on the other hand, has an opportunity to succeed under Alford.
He can recruit very well in the southwestern area of the United States and can take that skill now to Los Angeles. The Bruins need to get back on the map with a reputation for good college basketball and Alford is the type of coach that would be able to take UCLA to the next level.
It’s time for the Bruins to stop living in the past of John Wooden and start looking towards the future. Alford’s hiring was spot on for the UCLA organization and the future is bright for the Bruins, especially considering that Alford could have the opportunity to have a talented group at his disposal in 2013-14.