University of New Mexico's Steve Alford To Coach UCLA Men's Basketball!

Jeff Bottari

It looks like UNM's Coach Alford will be taking up residence down in Westwood!

Well, it is official. University of New Mexico's Coach Steve Alford is coming to UCLA. UCLA has just released a tweet about it:

Looks like the list of Billy Donovan, Bill Self, Shaka Smart, Rick Pitino, Phil Jackson, Zombie John Wooden, James Naismith, and Coach Billy Sunday from the 1998 Spike Lee joint "He Got Game" all made the same face when UCLA came a calling:

Let's learn more about Alford,who was a superstar player at Indiana for Bob Knight:

Alford elected to play basketball for Bob Knight and the Indiana Hoosiers men's basketball team. At Indiana, Alford became the university's all time leading scorer with 2,438 points (a record later eclipsed by Calbert Cheaney, who eventually went on to become the Big Ten's all time leading scorer). Alford was the first player to be named the team's MVP four times. During his final three seasons, Alford earned first team all-Big Ten honors. In the Legends of College Basketball by The Sporting News Alford was #35 on the list of the 100 greatest Division-I college basketball players. When The Sporting News named its top ten NCAA basketball players of the 1980s in December 1989, Alford was listed at number ten.

As a freshman, Alford quickly earned the favor of Coach Knight. Dan Dakich, Alford's former teammate and later an interim Indiana coach, said, "Steve was incredibly mature as a freshman. He was getting thrown out of practice then. If Coach respects you and knows you can handle it, he'll do that. When I was a freshman, only Randy Wittman and Ted Kitchel, the seniors, were thrown out." [1] That year Alford helped lead Indiana to an upset of the Michael Jordan-led North Carolina Tar Heels in the 1984 NCAA tournament. As a sophomore Alford was named to the 1985 NIT Tournament All-Tournament team after the Hoosiers finished second behind UCLA.

As a junior, Alford and the 1985-86 Hoosiers were profiled in a best-selling book A Season on the Brink. Author John Feinstein was granted unprecedented access to the Indiana basketball program and insights into Knight's coaching style. The book recounts how Knight once criticized Alford's work habits and leadership ability, telling him he couldn't "lead a whore into bed." [1] Knight later admitted that Alford was in fact an incredible worker and leader, and that the comments were just Knight's method of motivating players.[1] The Hoosiers went 21-8 that year and finished 2nd in the Big Ten, with Alford earning All-America and Big Ten Player of the Year honors.

In his senior year, the Alford-led 1986-87 Hoosiers won Indiana's fifth national championship against Syracuse in the 1987 NCAA tournament. The game was decided by a game-winning jump shot by Keith Smart with five seconds of play remaining.[3] Alford shot 7–10 from the 3-point line, scoring 23 points.

But has his coaching been as great as his playing???? Is that even a real English sentence??? He does have a winning record at 463-235, but he is only 5-7 in the NCAA Tournament. Will he be Jim Mora Jr. 2.0 for the Bruins, a seemingly unheralded hire that turns out well for the Bruins??

Full details of the contract have not emerged, but there are two key pieces to know here:

Sources told that Alford has signed a seven-year deal worth $2.6 million per year. Alford's recently inked a 10-year deal at New Mexico, and the buyout will be paid by UCLA.

Looks like UCLA is ponying up on this one. What are your thoughts on this hire?? Tell us in the comments and GO BEARS!

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