According to Andy Katz of ESPN, the UCLA Bruins have finally hired a new head coach. After numerous failed attempts at luring some other big names to the program, UCLA and Steve Alford have agreed to a deal to bring the former New Mexico Lobos coach to the program.
This announcement will be coming on the heels of Alford agreeing to a massive ten year extension with the Lobos. So I guess this means that the grass is greener the further west you go.
Alford has achieved a tremendous amount of success while with New Mexico, although, his hiring is coming as a bit of a surprise. Many figured coaches such as Mark Gottfried or Lorenzo Romar were in line for the job.
This has to be a huge sigh of relief for the UCLA athletic department. Being turned down, reportedly twice, is not the way the program wants to be pictured. The Bruins have usually been thought of as a destination spot for any of the top coaches in the country. Being continuously turned down was not only hurting that perception, but making it increasingly more difficult to believe that they would land a solid coach.
Regardless of how the UCLA fan base feels about the hiring of Alford, they will have to admit that he is as good a name that is realistically out there. While he might not be the “name” they were looking for–UCLA fans could at least hold solace in Alford’s ability to recruit and build a program from within.
Details of the contract have not been made public yet. Keep checking in with Rant Sports for continuous updates regarding the situation and opinions on the hire.
Joe is a Senior Writer for Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter @JosephNardone