Alford leaves New Mexico for UCLA
UCLA finally has their new man... New Mexico's Steve Alford. Alford is just ten days removed from signing a 10-year deal with his former university. Alford replaces Ben Howland, who was fired after 10 seasons as head basketball coach with UCLA in Los Angeles.
Alford's new deal with UCLA is reported to be 7 years at $2.6 million per year, and the Bruins will pay for the buyout of his old contract. Alford led the Lobos to 29 wins this season, a Mountain West championship, and their third appearance in the NCAA Tournament in the last four years, but New Mexico lost to Harvard in the first round of competition.
Alford has spent the last 6 years as the head coach for New Mexico, leading them to an impressive 155-52 record during that span.
"I have an opportunity to go to UCLA. It's the pinnacle of college basketball. It's one lifetime opportunities that is really, really difficult to pass up. I thought I was going to be here a long time, I just signed a ten year deal. That was the plan, sometimes plans get messed up."