As if the Pac-12 wasn’t already having an embarrassing college basketball season so far, one of its most high-profile programs—and arguably the Arizona Wildcats’ biggest conference rival—appears to be on the brink of a shocking midseason coaching change.
Numerous outlets are reporting the UCLA Bruins are about to part ways with coach Steve Alford, buying out his contract midway through what’s been a horrible sixth season at the helm.
BREAKING: UCLA athletic director Dan Guerrero has decided to terminate Steve Alford as basketball coach, @TheAthleticCBB has learned. Official announcement expected tomorrow. No indication yet who will serve as interim coach for remainder of the season.— Seth Davis (@SethDavisHoops) December 31, 2018
UCLA is 7-6 entering Pac-12 play, having lost four straight including Saturday’s 73-58 home setback to Liberty.
Alford is 124-63 with the Bruins, going 55-35 in league play, but he has finished no better than second place in the standings with one conference title in his first year on the job in 2013-14. UCLA has made the NCAA tournament in four of Alford’s five full seasons, reaching the Sweet 16 in 2014, 2015 and 2017.
UCLA is Alford’s fourth Division I coaching stop, having previously run programs at Missouri State, Iowa and New Mexico. His career record is 587-298, which includes 78 wins at a Division III school in the early 1990s.
Arizona is 7-4 against Alford at UCLA, beating the Bruins in the last two Pac-12 tournaments, but UCLA has won at McKale Center in its last two visits including last February.