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Ben Howland

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April 5, 2013
It's rare when both local universities introduce new basketball coaches a day apart - and even rarer still when USC trumps UCLA off the court - yet if public relations counts for anything, I'd say Andy Enfield just defeated another established power to advance while Steve Alford was upset again in the first round. Steve Ross New York :: It is not that UCLA has made the wrong selection for the basketball program, but they certainly did not make the bold selection; that honor falls to USC. Perhaps each program has made the "right" selection - only time will tell - but I do have a bit of a bad feeling that UCLA should have been braver.
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April 2, 2013 | T.J. Simers
I saw the guy working on TV, his team surprising folks in the NCAA tournament, but honestly I don't even know his first name now that he has become USC's basketball coach. But he has to be more interesting and exciting than the dolt introduced as UCLA basketball coach Tuesday. It's pretty well understood that whoever coaches UCLA basketball is a dead man walking, it being only a matter of time before the alumni agree he'll never be another John Wooden. But this might be the first time UCLA actually hired a dead man. Yeesh, the John Wooden statue outside of Pauley had more life to it than Steve Alford, the robot who sputtered nonstop platitudes while never once answering a question directly.
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April 2, 2013 | T.J. Simers
The other day I wrote a funny story, which failed to get a laugh out of Phil Jackson's agent, Todd Musburger. The way I heard it, UCLA Athletic Director Dan Guerrero called Musburger's office, and talked to his son, Brian, about Jackson helping UCLA find a replacement for Ben Howland. Musburger put out a news release after I wrote about it and said I was wrong. I think everyone understands I am never wrong. I asked Guerrero on Tuesday if he had talked to Jackson's agent.
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March 30, 2013 | By Chris Foster, This post has been updated. See the note below for details.
Steve Alford has been hired as UCLA's basketball coach, the university announced Saturday morning. Alford, 48, spent the last six seasons at New Mexico, compiling a 155-52 record. He replaces Ben Howland, who was fired after going 25-10 and winning the Pac-12 Conference regular-season championship. Alford has agreed to a seven-year deal worth $2.5 million a year, according to a person familiar with the hire who was not authorized to speak publicly about it. [Updated 11:36 a.m. March 30: UCLA officials later confirmed Alford had agreed to a seven-year contract worth $18.2 million, including a $200,000 signing bonus.
SPORTS
March 29, 2013
It's not Ben Howland's fault. Put the blame on UCLA and the NBA. The UCLA basketball program is nothing more than a puppy mill for the NBA. If Alcindor, Goodrich, Walton, Hazzard and Wilkes had left the Bruins after their first or second year during the Wooden era, there would have been very few championships, if any. How many starting seniors were on the current team? Every year UCLA goes out of its way to recruit freshmen for what I call their JV (Just Visiting) team, knowing well that they will leap to the NBA the next year.
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March 29, 2013 | By Chris Foster, Los Angeles Times
Butler Coach Brad Stevens turned down UCLA on Friday, leaving Athletic Director Dan Guerrero to look elsewhere for a basketball coach. Guerrero had focused his attention on Stevens this week after Shaka Smart agreed to a contract extension at Virginia Commonwealth. UCLA and Stevens talked, but they did not reach a formal negotiation stage. Stevens, whose Butler teams reached the national title game in 2010 and 2011, decided to remain in Indiana. Stevens was UCLA's first choice after Guerrero fired Ben Howland on Sunday.
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March 27, 2013 | Bill Dwyre
The saddest part of the Ben Howland saga at UCLA is not that a decent guy and good coach got fired. He's a big boy. He'll be fine. Give it a couple of years and he'll have another team in Pauley Pavilion, rendering UCLA black-and-not-so-Bruins-blue. No, the saddest part is that college athletics slipped further away from its mission. It was never supposed to be win at all costs. It was never supposed to be seasons that demanded ultimate victories, that made success in conference tournaments and the NCAA life and death.
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March 27, 2013 | By Bill Dwyre
UCLA has said it is looking for a basketball coach to enhance its winning culture. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar says he's the man. Abdul-Jabbar, certainly in the conversation about the greatest basketball players of all time, said Wednesday that he wants to be considered for the Bruins job, replacing recently fired Ben Howland. The winning part of his resume is beyond question. As a 7-foot-2 center for the John Wooden Bruins in 1967-69, Abdul-Jabbar was the star on a team that was 88-2 and won three NCAA titles.
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March 26, 2013 | By Mike Hiserman
It's an age-old question in basketball, from the pickup courts to the NBA: Who's got next? That's certainly the question over at UCLA, where there has been no shortage of speculation about who will replace Ben Howland as basketball coach. Some Bruins fans can't seem to understand why the likes of Michigan State's Tom Izzo and Florida's Billy Donovan aren't lining up for the job. Or maybe that Coach K guy. Others are championing champions from the mid-major ranks such as Gonzaga's Mark Few, Butler's Brad Stevens or Virginia Commonwealth's Shaka Smart.
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March 26, 2013 | By Chris Foster, Los Angeles Times
Ben Howland officially bid farewell to UCLA during a news conference at Pauley Pavilion on Monday, the day after he was fired as coach of the Bruins. Howland, showing grace, character and some emotion, thanked many people, including UCLA Chancellor Gene Block, Athletic Director Dan Guerrero, and his wife and family. It was the closing act on his 10 seasons in Westwood, a tenure he called "a dream come true. " "I'm excited about the next chapter and excited about coaching again," Howland said.
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