UCLA hires New Mexico's Steve Alford

Ethan Miller

Multiple sources, including ESPN's Andy Katz, are reporting that the UCLA Bruins will hire New Mexico Lobos head coach Steve Alford for the vacant position left by the firing of Ben Howland. UNM Sports Information confirmed the news and announced a Noon MT press conference Saturday.

Multiple sources, including ESPN's Andy Katz and Tracy Pierson of The Bruin Report Online.com are reporting that the UCLA Bruins have hired New Mexico Lobos head coach Steve Alford for the top spot leading the Bruins after the abrupt firing of Ben Howland last week.

UNM Sports Information confirmed the stories and announced a press conference set for Noon MT on Saturday morning.

According to the ESPN report, multiple sources told ESPN.com senior writer Andy Katz of the move on Saturday morning.

The agreement with Alford comes less than two weeks after Alford had agreed to a new 10-year contract with New Mexico that reached into the $2-million-per-season range, including base salary, bonuses and incentives...

Two former UCLA assistants and current head coaches -- NC State's Mark Gottfried and Washington's Lorenzo Romar -- had also been said to be on the Bruins' list.

Pierson of the Bruin Report Online went into further detail:

UCLA Athletic Director Dan Guerrero has been in discussions with Alford since his New Mexico team lost to Harvard in the second round of the NCAA Tournament last Thursday.

Guerrero flew earlier in the week to see Alford, and reportedly Alford met with Guerrero and UCLA representatives Friday night in Los Angeles to complete the deal.

Pierson reported that while the terms of the UCLA contract are not yet known, it is believed that the UCLA deal will for $2-2.7 million per year.

Alford, 48, just completed his sixth season at New Mexico, going 29-6, while winning both the Mountain West Conference regular season championship and conference tournament championship.

The Lobos finished the season ranked 10th in the country in both the AP and Coaches poll and earned a 3 seed in the NCAA Tournament before losing to Harvard, 68-62, in the second round.Alford has a 155-52 record leading the Lobos since being hired away from the Iowa Hawkeyes in 2006.

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