247Sports' Evan Daniels first reported the news earlier on Thursday.
Alford replaces Eric Musselman, who left to take over the Arkansas Razorbacks. He spent the past five-and-a-half seasons at UCLA, compiling a 124-63 record.
The Bruins made four NCAA tournament appearances under Alford, reaching the Sweet 16 on three occasions.
Between his stops at UCLA, New Mexico, Iowa and Missouri State, Alford has a 509-269 overall record and helped guide his teams to the NCAA tournament on 11 occasions. The 54-year-old has the profile and the track record to fit with a Nevada program that became a tournament mainstay under Musselman.
Alford's time with the Lobos is particularly encouraging. New Mexico reached the Big Dance once in the previous eight years before he arrived. In his third year, the Lobos reached the second round of the tournament and won 30 games.
Despite Alford's arrival, a step backward is likely inevitable for the Wolf Pack. Of the 15 players on their 2018-19 roster, eight were seniors, including Caleb Martin, Cody Martin and Jordan Caroline.
Stadium's Jeff Goodman also reported freshman forward Jordan Brown plans to transfer. Brown was the No. 19 player and No. 5 power forward in the 2018 recruiting class, per 247Sports' composite rankings.
The Wolf Pack's 2019 class ranks just 120th nationally, with 3-star junior college small forward Eric Parrish and Pittsburgh transfer Shamiel Stevenson the only additions so far. Alford still has some time to strengthen his squad, but most top players have already signed their letter of intent.
Musselman certainly picked the right time to move on, leaving Alford to inherit a tough situation.