Senin, 01 April 2013

Steve Alford rides coaching gravy train into UCLA job

The gravy train for college coaches might not have stopped completely but it s at least slowed down with the news that UCLA has hired former New Mexico coach Steve Alford to lead the Bruins .

The high profile openings at UCLA Minnesota and Southern California have been incredibly beneficial to several coaches who have signed lucrative extensions to stay at their current schools.

Steve Alford agrees to be the new basketball coach at UCLA just 10 days after signing an extension to stay with New Mexico. (AP Photo)

Shaka Smart signed an extension to stay at VCU through 2023 Jamie Dixon signed a 10 year extension to stay at Pittsburgh Fred Hoiberg signed a 10 year deal to stay at Iowa State and Josh Pastner signed a long term extension to stay at Memphis. Butler s Brad Stevens also turned down the UCLA job though there was no report of any extension.

Of course the long term part of the extension equation is a one way street. The schools are on the hook for the length of the contract but the coaches are under no such restrictions. Alford is the perfect example.

MORE Can Alford make a difference at UCLA

After a 29 win season that included the Mountain West regular season and tournament titles Alford agreed to a new 10 year contract with New Mexico the day before his third seeded Lobos lost to 14th seeded Harvard in their NCAA Tournament opener. On the day he signed the extension Alford was asked during a press conference in Salt Lake City if the timing of the deal had anything to do with ending speculation that he d be up for bigger jobs after an outstanding season as the head coach of the Lobos.

You're not going to avoid all that stuff anyway he said. It just happens every spring and you're humbled by it and you're appreciative when it does happen because it probably means you're doing a good job. If you're not getting talked about you're probably not doing a good job. Those things change yearly. It was really just about I don't know about timing as much as it was just coming to terms and knowing that this is where I wanted to be. This is a commitment that I wanted to make more than anything else because I found an institution I found an area of the country that I really really like. We're extremely successful and we think we can be even more successful in the future. I think that was more of the reason than anything else.

That was March 20.

On March 30 Alford became the new UCLA coach.

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