Steve Alford is an interesting hire at UCLA. He had some solid success at New Mexico, but will the former Indiana star be able to “step it up” and find success in Los Angeles
People in my state (Iowa) are always interested in Alford. He coached the Iowa Hawkeyes for a number of years. The honeymoon started well when Iowa landed him off a Sweet 16 performance at then Southwest Missouri State (now Missouri State). He won a Big Ten Tournament Championship at Iowa but also loss an NCAA tournament game to No. 14 seeded Northwestern State. When New Mexico offered Alford its coaching job, many Iowa fans were happy to see Alford leave.
UCLA is counting on Alford to continue his success from New Mexico. Alford has proven he can win consistently on the mid-major level, but the power conference job success is still up for debate.
It seems a good risk for UCLA. However, Alford knows the guy he is replacing brought UCLA to two Final Fours. The learning curve won’t be long. And then there is always the John Wooden factor. The most successful NCAA Division I coach in history raised the bar extremely high at UCLA.