ESPN's Andy Katz are saying that Steve Alford is leaving New Mexico to be UCLA's new basketball coach. The Bruins have come to an agreement with the New Mexico coach on a seven-year contract worth $2.6 million per year. This comes after firing Ben Howland after a second round ouster in the NCAA tournament.
The agreement with Alford comes less than two weeks after Alford had agreed to a new 10-year contract with New Mexico that reached into the $2-million-per-season range, including base salary, bonuses and incentives.
This is more of a surprise since many consider UCLA to be one of the top jobs in the country. The Bruins were spurned by Butler's Brad Stevens and VCU's Shaka Smart. It's obvious that many don't view it that way. Washington's Lorenzo Romar, Marquette's Buzz Williams, and NC State's Mark Gottfried were rumored to be candidates.
I don't know how this turns out, but Alford is leaving a loaded Lobos team for whoever takes over. Alford will face a ton of pressure trying to coach up to the UCLA standard set long ago by JohnWooden.