College notebook: UCLA hires Alford, USC eyes Fla. Gulf Coast coach
By Wire Reports
Published: Saturday, March 30, 2013, 8:33 p.m.
LOS ANGELES — Steve Alford was hired as UCLA's basketball coach on Saturday, spurning New Mexico days after he agreed to a new 10-year deal with the Lobos for a chance to run what he called “the premier basketball program in the country.”
The Bruins are bringing in someone who shares the same Indiana roots as John Wooden, who led UCLA to a record 10 national championships, including seven in a row, before retiring in 1975. Alford learned about Wooden as a first-grader in Martinsville, Ind., where his father, Sam, coached the high school basketball team at Wooden's alma mater.
“Ever since then, there was a draw to find out more about him,” Alford said on a teleconference. “I know my first steps into Pauley I will really feel that.”
Alford agreed to a seven-year deal worth $18.2 million, with a yearly salary of $2.6 million and a $200,000 signing bonus, according to UCLA athletic director Dan Guerrero.
Alford's deal with New Mexico, scheduled to take effect Monday, was worth more than $20 million over 10 years.
Alford, 48, succeeds Ben Howland, who was fired last weekend after 10 years and a 233-107 record that included three consecutive Final Four appearances and four Pac-12 titles.
Alford had a 155-52 record in six years at New Mexico, with the Lobos making three trips to the NCAA Tournament.
The Lobos didn't just lose Alford, they also won't have his son, Bryce, on their roster next season. Alford said his highly touted son would follow him to Westwood.
Krebs said it was clear when he talked to Alford on Saturday morning that his mind was made up, and although he's disappointed, he said he respected the decision.
Krebs said it was like a “bomb dropped in the room” when Alford told his players he was leaving.
“This is a very emotional time,” Krebs said. “There is no good way to break the news to the young men in the program. ... There's a lot of raw emotion right now.”
Report: USC courting FGCU coach
USC is targeting Florida Gulf Coast coach Andy Enfield to fill its coaching vacancy, according to a Yahoo Sports report.
Enfield, in his second season, guided the Eagles to the Sweet 16 in the program's first NCAA tourney appearance this year.
A source said talks between the school and coach are expected to begin this weekend.
Saunders turns down Gopher offer
ESPN analyst and former NBA coach Flip Saunders turned down an offer from Minnesota to be the next coach at his alma mater, according to an ESPN report.
Minnesota is searching to fill a vacancy created when Tubby Smith was fired last week after the Gophers lost to Florida in the NCAA Tournament.
Western Kentucky to join C-USA
Western Kentucky will join Conference USA next year, likely replacing Tulsa as the league's 14th member, according to a CBS Sports report.
Tulsa is on its way to the old Big East. C-USA, which has lost several schools to the old Big East, also added Florida Atlantic and Middle Tennessee State in November.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Garden Q&A: Firecracker vine OK for trellis?
- MLB notebook: Dodgers ace Kershaw pitches simulated game
- Penguins notebook: Gibbons day-to-day after Game 2 injury
- Cole’s strong outing wasted in 14-inning loss
- Starkey: Penguins’ arrogance astounding
- Chicago defenseman Seabrook suspended for hit on St. Louis captain Backes
- Pirates notebook: No rush to judgment by Hurdle
- Abdullah widens lead in Afghan vote tally
- Egg decorating turns to fight, charges in Brookline, police say
- Three ejected after Pirates, Brewers brawl
- Fix the 2nd Amendment with 5 words