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Steve Alford to UCLA: Offer 'came out of left field'

Steve Alford held one final press conference at New Mexico to talk about him leaving to take the UCLA job.

Ethan Miller

Now former New Mexico Lobos head coach Steve Alford held his final press conference to talk to the Albuquerque media to discuss his decision to move on and bec ome the next UCLA Bruins head coach.

"Earlier in the week, UCLA wasn't even in the picture."

Alford to UCLA came out of the blue on Saturday morning, and it was just on this past Wednesday that Alford held his end of season press conferences saying how he wanted to help getting New Mexico to the next level.

However, less than three days later, Alford is picking up and heading to the beach to replace Ben Howland to be UCLA's next head coach. In fact, Alford said that we was not even aware of UCLA having interest in him at the time of that press conference.

The deal came into place very quickly, and was actually finalized on Friday night, where he sent a text to Lobos athletic director Paul Krebs to tell him about his decision.

Alford talked at his press conference how this was a opportunity that he had to take, quotes via Geoff Grammar of the Albuquerque Journal:

"I thought I was going to be here a long time. I just signed a 10-year deal," Alford said. "This was something that came out of left field. It was an opportunity for my family and my career that I couldn't pass up."

He also felt how this was a very difficult decision:

"This has been a very hard 48 hours. The toughest decision that I've had to make ... maybe ever. And that's because of how much I love this place," Alford said. "When an opportunity presents itself like UCLA, it's really hard to say no to that in the end."

Alford is correct, saying no to UCLA is very tough. Even though VCU's Shake Smart and Butler's Brad Stevens said no to UCLA, Alford is not a New Mexico guy like Smart and Stevens are to their respective schools, and that is probably the difference to why Alford would entertain, and ultimately accept, their offer why the other top choices said no.