UCLA has hired Steve Alford as men’s basketball coach, luring him from New Mexico days after Alford signed a new 10-year deal with the Lobos. Athletic director Dan Guerrero says Alford is “the perfect fit for UCLA” because he connects with a new generation of players and brings an up-tempo and team-oriented style of play to Westwood. “I have been so fortunate and blessed in my life, and an opportunity to lead one of the greatest programs in college basketball history is once-in-a-lifetime,” Alford said in a statement. He succeeds Ben Howland, who was fired last weekend after 10 years at UCLA. Alford led New Mexico to a 29-6 record this season that included the Mountain West regular- season and tournament titles. Alford will be introduced at UCLA on Tuesday. – AP
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