Alford hired at UCLA

42 comments by   |   Saturday, March 30, 2013 - 12:10 pm EDT

Despite his recent contract extension at New Mexico, Steve Alford has been hired by UCLA to replace Ben Howland according to this report by CBSSports.com.

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42 comments:
#1
Marshall
Saturday, March 30, 2013 - 12:22 PM EDT

Congratulations Steve. Now we will see how successful you would have been at IU. Same winning type pressure from one of colleges top ten programs. Difference is fan base in LA not same as IU. Good luck Steve and I hope you prove all your critics wrong. Another Hoosier connection taking over UCLA. Seems to have worked out pretty well with Wooden.

 
#2
Harvard for Hillbillies
Saturday, March 30, 2013 - 12:27 PM EDT

Didn’t many on this blog claim the Mountain West was as good as it would ever get for Steve Alford?

Wow. They passed up Romar for the incompetent one from Indiana. Shocking. Didn’t see it coming. On the bright side, we still have a shot at Stevens in a few years..Or does Stevens take the Minnesota job?

 
#3
Rico Chet
Saturday, March 30, 2013 - 12:36 PM EDT

Great. Now he can beat up on the Huskies twice a year.

 
#4
Rico Chet
Saturday, March 30, 2013 - 12:38 PM EDT

I’m more of a Husky fan than a Hoosier fan, but my love for Alford made me blurt those last words. I’m funny.

 
#5
Ben
Saturday, March 30, 2013 - 12:40 PM EDT

I mean no disrespect, no sarcasm what I am about to say, but does anything think the loss to Harvard made New Mexico higher ups push him out? Was it too much of an embarrassment for Alford to handle perhaps?

 
#6
stationary front
Saturday, March 30, 2013 - 12:43 PM EDT

Rico that was plain stupid. You’re in a time out.

Beating up on the Huskies? They all do that in the PAC-12.

Alford is going there for his first national title.

The Fuskies don’t even exist on a basketball map.

Idiot.

 
#7
suHky Tom
Saturday, March 30, 2013 - 12:44 PM EDT

Marshall- Fan base in LA is indeed different. Fewer ignoramuses and idol-worshippers. Steve picked a good one – in fact, he picked the best basketball program of all time. Nice upgrade.

 
#8
stationary front
Saturday, March 30, 2013 - 12:45 PM EDT

Sorry Rico, to clarify: by “idiot,” I meant “myself.” It’s been one of those days.

 
#9
Rico Chet
Saturday, March 30, 2013 - 12:48 PM EDT

Sorry man, I am still working on “twenty-eight + fifty”.

I tried seventy-eight with and without a hyphen.

I tried with uppercase and without uppercase.

I am trying the digits now: “Let’s pray!”

 
#10
tomahawk sean
Saturday, March 30, 2013 - 12:51 PM EDT

^ We all know that the writer of post #8 is an idiot.

Talk about stating the obvious.

 
#11
tomahawk sean
Saturday, March 30, 2013 - 12:55 PM EDT

^The writer of post #10 is an idiot, and knows that the writer of post #9 is also an idiot.

A very smart idiot indeed.

 
#12
tomahawk sean
Saturday, March 30, 2013 - 12:56 PM EDT

^ The writer of post #11 is an idiot and knows nothing.

Therefore what he wrote is not true.

 
#13
tomahawk sean
Saturday, March 30, 2013 - 1:00 PM EDT

^The writer of post #12 was me, frustrated with my attitude in posts #11 and #12. I’ll go easier on myself next time. But I’m still an idiot, in a “Rain Man” sort of way.

 
#14
tomahawk sean
Saturday, March 30, 2013 - 1:19 PM EDT

Judging by his first sentence the writer of post #13 is a liar. Judging by the second he is a dumbass. That’s his indelible brand: liar dumbass!

 
#15
tomahawk sean
Saturday, March 30, 2013 - 1:30 PM EDT

Let me add one thing to my post #14. On the subject of indelible brands, before I forget, I just swallowed my own new trademark called “BP” – “Bitter Pill.” The Bitter Pill contains what I call “My Own Medicine.” It’s disgusting, I’ll tell ya! Never been so irritated in all years of trolling the Scoop!

I’ll have to go pick on Chet and Podonkey some more, to get my groove back.

 
#16 Saturday, March 30, 2013 - 2:49 PM EDT

THIS IS A MUST READ FOR EVERY IU FAN HERE: http://indiana.rivals.com/content.asp?CID=1489900

 
#17
Podunker
Saturday, March 30, 2013 - 3:37 PM EDT

Aruss, thanks for passing that along. I thought it was well written and well thought out.

Steve Alford is in for the shock of his life. He can not begin to appreciate the change in the environment from UNM to UCLA. If he thinks the pressure to win was intense when he played at IU, it was nothing close to what he’s about to experience at UCLA. I wish him well, but I fear this is a disastrous career move.

according to the Southern California media, Alford was not the first, second or even the third choice of UCLA. Who knows, he may not have even been in UCLA’s top five choices. I think UCLA’s administration was mortified when their top candidates turned them down flat, in spite of the dollars UCLA was throwing at these men. Panic must have begun to set in. I can see it now, (“Oh crap, we can’t get any of these coaches to accept our offer! Who’s next on the list? Well get him on the phone, NOW! We have to have a basketball coach!”)

If UCLA was willing to fire a coach that took his teams to several final fours, who won several PAC 10 and Pac 12 Championships and produced numerous NBA first round draft picks, that suggests the expectations of the school’s power brokers are off the charts. It’s NCAA Championship of bust, and you’d better win it fast. My fear for Steve Alford is that he’s being hired as a place-holder. That he’s not really “the man.” Alford was not on UCLA’s radar a week ago and that makes me wonder how committed the administration and the Alumni will be to helping him succeed in the long term.

As for Alford, he’s not taking this job for the increased money (the money is about the same as his recently signed 10-year contract extension with New Mexico)) or for the improved climate. He must be taking the job because he concluded that he could not recruit the talent necessary to win big at New Mexico. And if that’s the case, he was probably right. But oh is he in for a shock when he arrives in Westwood. He’s never seen media like he’s about to see in lala land. He does not know the meaning of unrealistic expectations, but he’s going to learn real fast! This is a fan base that once booed the UCLA team off the court when they were leading their opponent by only 15 points at half time!

I wonder what bob Knight is thinking right now? Oh the irony of it all.

 
#18
Docdave
Saturday, March 30, 2013 - 10:55 PM EDT

What a disappointing comment section. Some jerk has a conversation with himself, and no one running the blog stops it or deletes that crap. Whoever that is needs to be blocked!
Then Podunker goes off about how UCLA is the toughest job in the world. Maybe they got rid of Howland because he pulled a “Mike Davis” and alienated the SoCal recruiting circles. I bet he refused to take Conley to get Oden. Wouldn’t want to have to take the #4 draft pick to get the #1.
Good luck to Alford. The worst that can happen is they fire you and you get severance money.

 
#19
Punjab
Saturday, March 30, 2013 - 11:16 PM EDT

Docdave, while I would agree that under normal circumstances, Alford’s hiring should generate big conversation, it didn’t today. It will probably still trickle in and build. But now’s not the time. At least for me. But why so hasty on the censorship? There was nothing overtly offensive there. If nothing else, it was one fan filling up space and amusing himself when nobody else was around to respond. Working night shift for the last six months, I get it. It seems like I’m talking to myself in the middle of the night in the middle of nowhere sometimes. Then I wake up to a huge thread. Chill out. Nobody needs to be banned. Not every thread is going to be to your liking. Read it– or don’t– and move on. No blood, no foul, right? (Unless it’s Zeller under the hoop. Then it’s always a foul…)

 
#20
Chet
Sunday, March 31, 2013 - 12:14 AM EDT

I wish Coach Alford the best. If he’s successful at UCLA it will only heighten the aura around Indiana basketball.

I hope he does well.

 
#21
Higgi
Sunday, March 31, 2013 - 12:55 AM EDT

Steve Alford is going to be great at UCLA. I’ll look forward to seeing UCLA and IU match up in the NCAA Tourney in the next few years. Let’s face it Hoosiers…had Alford not accepted the job at Iowa when he did, he would now be coaching IU. If anyone is ready to move up to the ‘big time’ and handle the pressures that will come along with it – it is Steve Alford.

 
#22
coachv
Sunday, March 31, 2013 - 1:26 AM EDT

tomahawk,

wither that is really funny, or i am really high. either way, i’m telling my mom.

 
#23
Chet
Sunday, March 31, 2013 - 10:08 AM EDT

Higgi, you might be right about Alford coaching at IU but I remember the conventional wisdom at the time was that RMK was working behind the scenes to direct Alford away from IU.

Either way, best of luck to him.

 
#24
Chefritch
Sunday, March 31, 2013 - 10:49 AM EDT

When Sampson was at IU he would not recrute in the state, That has now changed. Same thing is going on at UCLA , that more than anything else got that coach fired. Hopefully Steve will change that.

 
#25
iulongago
Sunday, March 31, 2013 - 12:22 PM EDT

The people in Iowa were glad to see him go. He treated peopel in Iowa City poorly and he recruitefd (and then protected) guys who Sampson would have loved. I’m fine with him going to and staying in Los Angeles.

 
#26
AWinAZ
Sunday, March 31, 2013 - 1:29 PM EDT

Decision motivated by $$$$$. He was loved in Alb. and had superior control of his present and future. He’s in for a rude awakening. The mystique of UCLA is over but the alumni are in full and complete control, especially rich former players. He may win, make the tournament, but he will do less than Howland did. And the result and frustration will be the same.

 
#27
TsaoTsuG
Sunday, March 31, 2013 - 2:42 PM EDT

Great news that confirm Alford is recognized and admired for all the qualities he showed as a player at Indiana. Intelligence, discipline, creativity and tremendous people skills. He had dealt with tough pressure situations his entire life and has shown good judgment no matter what the challenge. Proud of Steve Alford as a player, a coach, Indiana bred and have little doubt he will succeed at UCLA.

He also represents an entire ‘school’ of coaching and teaching that has successfully spread and become influential through the world of college basketball coaching and the development of talented individuals (other tops programs, NBA) to where they are able to rech their maximum potential. A credit to the thought and teaching of RMK. Good luck Steve Alford.

At some point (now or ten years from now) we will search for a new coach. We would benefit from looking in the RMK school and its products.

 
#28
TsaoTsuG
Sunday, March 31, 2013 - 2:50 PM EDT

IULong Ago, I’d like to know why you decide to rain on the good news that further enhances and honors Indiana basketball. Seems like bitterness about something drives your post. Perhaps you’d like to share. I see nothing but positives and pride in the news.

Don’t you think that perhaps negatives are soaking even those things about our life and cultures that should be taken for how they express our potential and our enjoyment of life? Steve Alford is an excellent example of how much we enjoy our glory as Hoosiers. We should continue to do so until he’s in his eighties and then some.

 
#29
TsaoTsuG
Sunday, March 31, 2013 - 3:05 PM EDT

Chet, perhaps RMK’s concern was for Alford’s career knowing that the NCAA was going to crack down hard on Indiana after Greenspan aided and abetted his using IU as a good place to be a ‘fugitive’ from the NCAA when the hammer was coming down on Oklahoma. Perhaps, Knight knew more about the situation here under Greenspan since Greenspan had been the AD at Army prior to IU and, certainly, the reputation follows you among Army alumni with whom RMK may have had contact.

It certainly would give me pause in recommending anyone to a job where the leadership seemed to be programmed to tolerate, even collaborate with with corrupt practices and NCAA violations. I don’t think it was accidental that the Compliance department at IU Athletics seemed to not have a clue or had taken a ‘see nothing, hear nothing, speak nothing’ view of our basketball program. We were still finding the left over, moldy c**p in the corners last year.

I would have to do the same thing RMK was said (if you are right) to have done with Alford in regards to IU at the time. With someone I had mentored, if I saw the incoming of the Sampson years, I would feel a duty to warn them about stepping into the then IU situation.

 
#30
Podunker
Sunday, March 31, 2013 - 6:35 PM EDT

DocDave, I think you misinterpreted my comments about Alford and UCLA. I feel bad for Alford. I think Alford is too good for UCLA. I think Alford would have been better served at a different school. I like Alford a great deal and respect him a lot. I fear this will not end well for him.

UCLA basketball coach is a tough job because the expectations are beyond reason. They fired the guy that led his team to the PAC 12 Championship! They fired the guy who had led the team to three final fours. That is a sign of insane expectations and I just hope Alford’s great career becomes a victim of those expectations.

It is no longer as easy to recruit great talent to UCLA. Ironically, that’s one reason Alford was so successful luring good players away from Southern California (including UCLA) and playing in New Mexico. Not only is competition for talent much greater than it ever was, but academic standards are very, very high at UCLA. Student athletes with average academic capabilities find it more challenging to keep pace at UCLA compared to other schools located on the west coast. Also, given the demographics of the UCLA student body, let’s just say that the opportunity to have a social life on campus is not what it used to be or what is is at other college campuses.

Sorry if I sounded like I was knocking Alford. That was not my intent. I like and respect Alford and wish him the best. I just did not think UCLA was the best fit for him.

 
#31
Podunker
Sunday, March 31, 2013 - 6:41 PM EDT

Sorry, that should have read, “Alford’s great career does not become a victim of those expectations.”

I’ve never been a fan of UCLA and I believe that their basketball program, for much of Wooden’s tenure, was the most corrupt college sports program in the country. As chronicled previously on this site, I have a very good friend that played for Wooden, and the stories he tells me about the systemic cheating are unbelievable. If discovered these days, one tenth of the stuff they got away with back then would earn a school the death penalty.

 
#32
Hoosier Clarion
Sunday, March 31, 2013 - 9:45 PM EDT

UCLA in 2012 spent $138k renovating Pauley which now holds 13,800. They had 5 games only this year when they sold more than 10k tickets. The tale wags the dog in that program. If SA ever felt taking the Iowa job was a mistake he is getting ready to enjoy deja vu revisited. He owned Albuquerque. I doubt I am the only 1 who thinks Lavin and Howland are at least as good at coaching as Alford. In 3 years with the severance package he can own wherever he likes.

 
#33
tomahawk sean
Sunday, March 31, 2013 - 10:02 PM EDT

Blah blah Hotel Boy knows nothing as always.

 
#34
iulongago
Monday, April 1, 2013 - 12:07 AM EDT

I think Alford was a Great player at IU. That doesn’t mean that I can’t have a different opinion of him as a coach or of the person he has exposed himself to be since leaving IU. It has nothing to do with ‘bitterness’ because I’m not. He just wasn’t a very ‘good guy’ in Iowa City and he protected a player who shoud have been ‘kicked off’ the team for domestic abuse. I think he’s the one who gives IU a ‘bad name’ in this instance.

 
#35
Chet
Monday, April 1, 2013 - 9:56 AM EDT

People want different things out of life. For me, having the best job in Albuquerque would be pretty sweet. I love northern New Mexico and the climate agrees with me. I’ll bet Steve brought home enough money to keep his family in adobe ranch houses for the next three or four generations.

While UCLA no doubt came in with ridiculous amounts of money (which, with the Southern California exchange rate, will translate to a tiny fraction of his earnings in New Mexico), I’m sure the reason he took the job is about winning the title. That’s it. UCLA can’t pay him enough money to duplicate his lifestyle in Albuquerque. Maybe the Lakers could.

He wants to hang a banner. It’s never gonna happen at New Mexico. Never, ever, ever, in a million years. Even the SA cheerleaders that come on the Scoop and say that he’ll bring hardware to the Lobos before CTC hangs another banner know that that’s just the beer talking. Maybe, three years after bringing in his best recruiting class ever he could get them to a Final Four where they’d meet Syracuse or Michigan or, if his luck really sucked, the new and improved Hoosiers with their new 6’7″ and 6’9″ back court and they stay close for a half with ball control before losing by 17.

But there will never be the players necessary to win a title enrolled at the University of New Mexico. At least not in our life times.

We just saw our delightful team with some really good talent and a couple of nice, warm, and fuzzy guards get manhandled by the kind of personnel you need to win the last couple games. IU was the smart, savvy kind of team that will win 25-30 games and, maybe, the conference with their resolve and consistency. All it takes is a couple of guards with NBA bodies and a big, physical supporting cast to make you see how far a pair of 6 foot playmakers and a silky smooth frontcourt will get you in today’s game.

I love Yogi but, before he played a game, there were questions of whether or not he’d be a one-and-done. I chimed in that I thought he’d be here for 4 years because the professional market for 5’11″ guard play just isn’t very good. He might make someone’s NBA roster or he may need to learn Italian. I can think of worse things.

Coach Alford wants to win a title. There are just a handful of teams that could have hired him away from the Lobos, UCLA being one of them. My concern, for him, is that they’ve shown in the past that they are willing to do anything to win the title.

I’m not sure that’s the kind of commitment he wants to hear.

 
#36
Podunker
Monday, April 1, 2013 - 12:32 PM EDT

Chet, excellent post. I especially like your comment about the “exchange rate” of So Cal compared to New Mexico. This move was not about the money. If you do the math, Alford’s not really making a lot more money in gross. After taxes and the much higher cost of everything he has to buy in California, he’ll be lucky if he breaks even. I think you are exactly right. This move was made because Alford wants to hang a banner and did not believe he could get the talent necessary to do so while in Albuquerque.

Alford’s going to realize very soon that this is not the UCLA that John Wooden coached back in the 60′s and 70′s. The culture of LA and all of So Cal has changed profoundly in the last 20 years. And I had to chuckle when one reporter wrote a story in which he offered that one of the reasons Alford left Iowa was that the University and the town was “too liberal” for Alford and his family. Well if Alford thought Iowa City was too liberal, he’s either evolved in his political perspective or he’s in for a huge shock when he arrives in Los Angeles.

 
#37
Chet
Monday, April 1, 2013 - 12:42 PM EDT

I can assure you that Albuquerque is at least as liberal as Iowa City. Northern New Mexico is a New Age paradise.

 
#38
seahawk tom
Monday, April 1, 2013 - 11:45 PM EDT

Alford’s going to realize very soon that this is not the UCLA that John Wooden coached back in the 60′s and 70′s. The culture of LA and all of So Cal has changed profoundly in the last 20 years. And I had to chuckle and choke and then I even had to go to the bathroom…

OK you jealous people. Crean will leave IU before Alford leaves UCLA. That much is clear. Podumbo you need not reply. Shut up and read about entropic coaching because you’re very far behind…

 
#39
Steve in Los Angeles
Tuesday, April 2, 2013 - 3:48 PM EDT

Tweeted three hours ago:

Tom Crean Tom Crean

Verified account ‏@TomCrean

Steve Alford will be incredible at UCLA. He is one of the very best for many reasons. I have always admired and respected him. Total winner.

Looks like Tom Crean, at the top of his profession, still has to check with Podonkey and Clarichortle on a few things. He still gets flak no matter what he tweets though. Poor man. All he has to do is talk basketball. Evince a little basketball knowledge in public—is all what people want from him.

 
#40
Podunker
Tuesday, April 2, 2013 - 4:47 PM EDT

Hey, does your Mommy and Daddy know that you’re spending time blogging on the Hoosier Scoop? You should probably spend a little more time on your homework to make sure you don’t have to repeat sixth grade.

 
#41
coachv
Wednesday, April 3, 2013 - 10:55 PM EDT

I hope you FAIL Alford. You make me SICK to my stomach. You Failed at Iowa, and will embarrassingly FAIL at UCLA.

 
#42
Podunker
Wednesday, April 3, 2013 - 11:39 PM EDT

coachv, why all the hate directed at Alford? You sound as if he ran over your dog or something? Please explain.

 


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