LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Steve Alford was introduced Tuesday as UCLA’s head basketball coach.

The university announced Alford had been hired as head coach Saturday. He replaced Ben Howland, who was fired after 10 years.

Alford joins UCLA as the school’s 13th men’s basketball coach, KNX 1070 reports.

“We found a coach who not only represents and honors and respects the treasured history of college basketball and UCLA’s place in it, but also a coach who can bring a brand of exciting basketball with unselfish and talented student athletes,” UCLA’s Athletic Director Dan Guerrero said.

The one-time Indiana star player has coached collegiate basketball for 22 years.

“This is a challenge that I think I’ve been patiently waiting for and now that the opportunity has come my way, I’m ready,” Alford said. “At the age of 48, and 22 years into coaching, I think I’m as prepared as I’m ever going to be prepared.”

Alford was previously the head coach at the University of New Mexico, ending this year with a 29-6 record and winning the Mountain West Conference regular season and tournament titles. He took the Lobos’ to the postseason in all six years he was there, including three trips to the NCAA tournament.

Prior to New Mexico, he coached Iowa for eight seasons where he guided the Hawkeyes to three NCAA tournaments.

Alford agreed on a seven-year, $18 million contract.


UCLA Hires Steve Alford As Men’s Basketball Coach

UCLA: Basketball Coach Ben Howland Has NOW Been Fired

(©2010 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)


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