After a few unsuccessful attempts to fill its coaching vacancy with high-profile candidates Shaka Smart and Brad Stevens, UCLA has found a new coach to replace Ben Howland at the helm in Westwood: New Mexico’s head coach Steve Alford.
It was a surprising move for the Bruins athletic department to nab the New Mexico coach, who had just signed a 10-year extension with the Lobos a few weeks prior. Nevertheless, it brings the Bruins back on their feet after a string of disappointing postseasons that led to Howland’s firing.
Although novelty often misleadingly breeds excitement, this move brings real promise to UCLA.
With the tools Alford brings along not only as a successful coach but as a once-successful college and NBA player, he is just what the Bruins need right now to revamp their underachieving program and restore their vanishing luster as one of the nation’s premier programs.