The Nevada Wolf Pack didn’t waste time in finding their new head coach. On Thursday night, the Wolf Pack announced their decision to go with former UCLA Bruins’ head coach Steve Alford. The 10-year deal will be officially announced on Friday, according to AP News.
Alford takes over the program after a tumultuous couple of seasons with the Bruins. The veteran head coach was fired early into the 2018-19 season. It was the first time Alford didn’t finish a season, but the move also helped teams identify him as a potential replacement in case of emergency.
“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. “To get a leader of Coach Alford’s caliber is a testament to the support of our community and our University. There is a great tradition of Wolf Pack basketball and the future is even brighter.”
Once Eric Musselman left the Wolf Pack to become the new head coach with the Arkansas Razorbacks they had to find a quality coach to try to keep the remaining team together. Still, Alford will have to do some rebuilding with a program that was built on transfers.
In four seasons with the Wolf Pack, Musselman finished with a (110-34) record. He averaged 28.6 wins per season over the final three years. He also won 24 games during his first year in Reno. More importantly, Musselman led the Wolf Pack to a pair of NCAA Tournament appearances, including a Sweet 16 in 2018. They were ranked in the Top 10 for the majority of the 2019 season. However, they lost to the Florida Gators as a No. 7 seed in the first round.
Now, Alford has to keep the ball rolling in the Mountain West Conference. He has amassed a (509-269) record in 24 seasons as a head coach at multiple stops. Alford earned his first head coaching job at Missouri State. He joined the Iowa Hawkeyes for eight seasons. In 2007, the New Mexico Lobos hired Alford where he stayed for six seasons. After a successful stint, Alford became the head coach of the Bruins in 2013.
Alford has earned 10 trips to the NCAA Tournament in 24 seasons as a head coach. He’s taken each program to at least one NCAA Tournament berth. Although Alford won four regular season conference titles with the Lobos, he never won the regular season crown with the Bruins in the PAC-12. However, he did win the PAC-12 tournament in 2014.
Alford last chance legitimate chance at a national title came in 2017 with Lonzo Ball at the point guard position. Unfortunately, the team flamed out in during a Sweet 16 matchup against the Kentucky Wildcats. Since then, off the court turmoil and bad play helped foster the coaching move 13 games into last season.