Less than a week after firing Ben Howland, UCLA has a new leader in Westwood: Former New Mexico head coach Steve Alford.
UCLA announced Saturday morning that Alford will be formally introduced at a press conference Tuesday.
"Steve is the perfect fit for UCLA," Athletic Director Dan Guerrero said in a statement. "He is part of the storied history of the game of college basketball and understands the tradition and uniqueness of UCLA. Yet he also connects with a new generation of players and brings an up-tempo and team-oriented brand of basketball to Westwood. We welcome Steve, his wife Tanya, and children Kory, Bryce and Kayla to the Bruin family and look forward to many years of success."
Alford infamously signed a 10-year deal to stay at New Mexico just a week ago, but according to CBSSports.com, the Bruins will pay his buyout to get him to UCLA.
Also according to CBSSports.com, the new deal is for seven years at $2.6 million a year.
"I have been so fortunate and blessed in my life, and an opportunity to lead the one of the greatest programs in college basketball history is once-in-a-lifetime," Alford said in a statement. "It is an honor to be the head coach at UCLA, yet it is also a responsibility to ensure that our former, current and future players and fans are proud to be Bruins. I am grateful to Chancellor Gene Block and Dan Guerrero for this amazing opportunity and I can't wait to get started."
Alford made it to the NCAA Tournament three times in his six years at UNM, and won 22 or more games every year. He was named Mountain West Coach of the Year three of the past five seasons.