Nevada hires former UCLA coach Steve Alford, awards him a 10-year contract to succeed Eric Musselman



Former UCLA coach Steve Alford has signed a 10-year contract to become the next coach in Nevada, the school announced Thursday.

Alford was dismissed 13 games in its sixth season at Westwood, after the Bruins started with a 7-6 record that included a four-game losing streak and home losses to Belmont and Liberty. It will happen to Eric Musselman, who left Reno last week for take the same position in Arkansas.

Alford will be presented on Friday afternoon at 11 a.m. ET.

"There is no better coach than Steve Alford to continue the rise of Nevada basketball and we are excited for the next chapter," Nevada athletic director Doug Knuth said in a statement issued by the school. "Getting a leader of coach Alford's caliber is a testament to the support of our community and our university, there is a great Wolf Pack basketball tradition and the future is even brighter."

Alford recruited to a high level at UCLA with the 25 best recruiting clbades in each year and three of the top 10 clbades in general, including the top 6 in his last two years. But his demise with the Bruins was accelerated by his lack of success in the postseason. He lost the NCAA Tournament only once (twice including his final shorter season), but only three times advanced until the second weekend of the tournament and never reached the Elite Eight.

"Being able to continue my career in a united community that has demonstrated its support for the basketball program is exactly the opportunity that Tanya and I were looking for, and we are thrilled to be in northern Nevada," said Alford. "I can not wait to get to work as we seek to build the established tradition and momentum of this great program, I want this to be the last stop in my coaching career."

In Nevada, expectations for Alford will be moderate compared to UCLA. Although the Pack of Wolves did the NCAA Tournament in each of the last three seasons of Musselman and published 29 consecutive seasons before leaving, the program is expected to experience an exodus of talent. As a result, Alford could be performing a minor rebuild, although Nevada has recruited at a level high enough to compete at the highest level in the MWC.


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