I don't understand this hire. In every coaching stop he has had he has left behind a trail of dissapointing results and legions of ticked off people. This guy is as arrogant as it gets. I know this is common place in D1 coaching circles, but now this guy is in the spot light and major stage of UCLA. I think it is just a matter of time before he burns too many bridges and is exposed. Just ask the folks in Iowa about their Steve Alford experience and I guaranty you it was not a good one.
His handling of the Pierre Pierce case was disgraceful. That's all you need to know about him.
Its a decent hire considering the odds of them getting a high caliber coach. It wasnt going to happen. UCLA is not a dream job for a lot of coaches anymore...rather a high risk high reward type situation. Even though Gottfried and Romar were assistants there, the fact that they are even considered should prove that the job is not as illustrious as once perceived. Those guys have wallowed in mediocrity at schools much less prestigious. Not saying Alford will be great, but its a good job for a good coach, nothing more.
When I evaluate if a guy can coach one of the things I look at is where the program he had was at when he got there. When Alford took the job from Ritchie McKay the previous 5 years had gone like this. 10-18, 14-14, 26-7, 17-13, and 15-17....
Alford has gone 24 wins, 22 wins, 30 wins, 22 wins, 28 wins, and 29 wins. So I ask you... Can he coach?
Let's also put some things into perspective...
He has coached at Manchester, Southwest Missouri State, Iowa, and New Mexico. None of the above are hot beds for recruiting talent and yet he has managed to get players and win.
I think it is dangerous to listen to the "masses" when talking about whether a guy can get it done. He may have had some 1st round losses at those schools but it was remarkable that he got those teams there in the first place. Again I ask you all, where is Iowa today? Where is Southwest Missouri State today (he got them far into the tournament). What was New Mexico before he got there?
So I don't think it's a bad hire. In fact he will likely get better athletes and better players and now it's time to show and prove.
Remember when folks said Roy Williams could never win the big one? Yeah me neither.
Remember when Erik Spoelstra was a bad coach and was going to be replaced by Pat Riley? Yeah that was centuries ago huh....
Good hire UCLA now Alford has to get to work.