Sorry UCLA Fans, Steve Alford Isn't Getting Fired


Steve Alford is an average college basketball coach at best, and UCLA should have known that before it handed him a massive contract with an enormous buyout clause. Apparently, no one tipped athletic director Dan Guerrero off to the fact that Alford had in no way earned an elite job like UCLA.

Now the Bruins are suffering buyer’s remorse after a season in which they finished 15-17 overall, 6-12 in the Pac-12 and lost to crosstown rival USC three times despite a wealth of talent. Unfortunately for UCLA fans, there is no way Alford will be fired this offseason.

A banner reading “UCLA Deserves Better Fire Alford!” was flying around the school’s Westwood campus on Monday, but given the recruits the 51-year-old has committed for next season and his hefty buyout, he’s not going anywhere.

The Bruins have two All-American recruits headed their way in forward T.J. Leaf and point guard Lonzo Ball. Those two are coming along with center Ike Anigbogu and forward Kobe Paras. While the impending arrival of the 2016 class is a reason for Bruins fans to get excited, Alford has yet to show he knows how to develop and deploy elite talent effectively.

As stated before, Alford is just an average college basketball coach. While he has made Sweet 16 trips in each of his first two years in Los Angeles, given the team’s talent level those results have been disappointing. The 2015-16 season was just the cherry on top of the unpalatable sundae that is Steve Alford running a blue blood program.

When he was at Iowa, Hawkeye fans wanted him out very quickly. He posted a record of 152-106 overall and 61-67 in Big Ten play and never reached the Sweet 16 in eight seasons. Then he inherited a successful program at New Mexico and never raised it beyond where it already was. In six seasons he posted a great record of 155-52 (68-26 in the Mountain West) but also never reached the Sweet 16. Now he’s at UCLA with as much talent as anyone year-to-year and he can’t find big-time success. That is unacceptable.

Alford and the Bruins were terrible this year and fans want him out. Unfortunately, UCLA would owe Alford $10.4 million if it fires him before April 30, 2016. By May 1, all the top-tier candidates to replace him will have already found other jobs. which means the Bruins are stuck with him for at least another year.

While that’s got to be depressing for UCLA fans, there is no reason the school has to keep the guy who went after Alford and signed him to that ridiculous contract around. Someone should probably get cracking on making a “UCLA Deserves Better Fire Dan Guerrero!” banner as well.