Walt Hazzard, in his second season as UCLA's basketball coach, signed a one-year extension to his contract last July. His contract now extends through March 31, 1988.
UCLA Athletic Director Pete Dalis, who originally had signed Hazzard to a three-year contract in the spring of 1984, confirmed Wednesday that the contract had been extended after Hazzard's first season so that he would, again, have three years.
"We decided to roll over the contract after he won the NIT that first season," Dalis said. "It came up in the normal debriefing and evaluation after the season.
"Quite frankly, I don't know why it wasn't announced at the time."
UCLA had handled the extension of Terry Donahue's football coaching contract in the same way, signing Donahue to an extension last summer but not announcing it until the question came up several months later. That, however, was because Donahue had asked that no announcement be made.
Hazzard said that he did not know why his extension was not announced. He added, though, that he was glad the subject had come up now, since he has J. R. Reid, a 6-10 high school senior from Virginia Beach, Va., in town on a recruiting trip.
"I think it helps to let the players that we are recruiting know that I'm going to be around for a while," Hazzard said. "It's important to show them that the school is committed to building a program."
UCLA had a record of 21-12 and won the National Invitation Tournament in Hazzard's first season as coach. This season, the Bruins are 11-10 overall and 6-6 in the Pacific 10.
With seven games remaining, among them one against DePaul and road contests at USC, Oregon State and Oregon, it is possible that the Bruins could have their first losing season since 1947-48.
Hazzard, of course, is expecting the kind of strong finish that put his team into the NIT last season.
He is also looking forward to next season. The only fourth-year player on his team now is Montel Hatcher, who redshirted as a freshman and is now a junior in eligibility. So he will have everyone back--including Reggie Miller, one of the best scorers in the country, and Pooh Richardson, one of the best young point guards in the country.
He also has recruited three big players in 6-11 Kevin Walker from Brea-Olinda High in Brea, 6-8 Trevor Wilson from Cleveland High in Reseda and 6-10 Greg Foster from Skyline High in Oakland.
"Coach Hazzard has recruited well," Dalis said. "I think he's going in the right direction.
"It takes a while to grow into these jobs. If you'll remember, there were a lot of people who wanted Terry Donahue's scalp after the 5-6 season in 1979. He was 0-4 against USC then.
"It certainly paid off to stick with Terry."
For Donahue, the UCLA job was his first head coaching job.
For Hazzard, the UCLA job was his first major college coaching job after stints at Compton and Chapman colleges.