The Coaching Search

Here are the most recent developments in the basketball coaching search, including updates on Ben Howland, Roy Williams, Mark Few and others...<B>March 26th Update</b>

Many of the potential candidates have had their seasons come to an end and are now available to be contacted by UCLA.

 

We have not heard that any have officially been contacted, but that doesn't mean they haven't.  

 

A source close to the coaching search believes that UCLA Athletic Director Dan Guerrero is in no hurry to begin conducting interviews, and could, in fact, wait until all of the potential candidates are available.  Kansas's Roy Williams, Pittsburgh's Ben Howland and Marquette's Tom Crean are still active in the NCAA tournament. At the very most, this source suggests, Guerrero could begin to make initial contact with some candidates but more than likely will wait until this weekend to see if, specifically, Kansas and Pittsburgh lose, thus making it possible to contact Williams and Howland.

 

Despite reports that deny UCLA will get financial help from Adidas or boosters in securing a coach, sources indicate that such money will be used to supplement the new coach's income.  It could, after the "easily-reached" incentives, bring the ceiling on the next coach's income to the $1.2-$1.3 range.

 

**We originally published the first list of potential head coaching candidates back in December and have been keeping you updated ever since. Now, with the coaching search active, we'll be updating this list even more often than we have in the past. It's the best way to keep yourself aware of all the developments as the coaching search heats up, giving you the complete low-down on each candidate.  This story will be a permanent fixture on the front page of the site until the new UCLA head coach is chosen.

 

***What is particularly evident is how coveted the job is, with many big-named coaches clamoring behind the scenes to be considered for it.   While you might hear many writers or pseudo-commentators talking down the job, the coaches know the truth: That, given how expectations have been lowered at UCLA considerably, it's a great situation for the next coach. 

 

The Leaders:

 

Ben Howland, Pittsburgh Head Coach.  He is one of the hottest coaches in the country, and in college basketball circles, it's justified.  He's considered a very good coach who also hires good assistants.  Howland won the national coach of the year award a year ago. He turned around Northern Arizona before doing it at Pitt.  Being from Southern California, having coached at UC Santa Barbara, and it being fairly known that Howland would want the job, makes him one of the top candidates.  If Pitt were to actually win the national championship, though, that could make it difficult for Howland to leave. And he's becoming such a respected name, he might price himself out of UCLA's budget. Unless a national championship prices Howland out of UCLA's salary league, he seems like a great fit – a good name that that UCLA's boosters will sign off on, and the type of coach UCLA needs to turn around its program. He and his assistants are showing interest in the UCLA situation, and coincidentally putting in some time recruiting west coast kids.  LATEST:  Howland continues to do public interviews where he makes it clear he's interested in the job.  Behind the scenes, pretty strong rumors persist that it's close to a done deal for Howland, while there are others close to the situation that are highly skeptical.  There is still a pretty credible source that says intermediaries between UCLA and Howland have talked, and they're far away when it comes to an agreement, particularly concering compensation. Regardless of how far along it is presently with Howland, it's well-accepted that the coaching search almost certainly goes through Howland's door. The only reason it wouldn't would be if Roy Williams or perhaps Mike Montgomery snapped it up before Howland did. It's believed Howland's recent comments in the L.A. Times about renovating Pauley Pavilion didn't help his cause, possibly coming off demanding and a bit arrogant to UCLA. Latest 3/16: More and more fairly reliable sources indicate the deal for Howland is just waiting to get done. UCLA and Howland do have some pretty substantial intermediaries, namely Adidas' Sonn Vaccaro.  We're skeptical, though, that the deal is as far along as many believe since we've heard from other sources that Athletic Director Dan Guerrero doesn't want to do anything to compromise his coaching search.  But there are sources who we've known quite a while who are traditionally even more skeptical, and are usually right, and they believe a potential Howland deal is in the works. Latest, 3/10: Just about every day we get rumors that 1) Howland is serious about the job and it's being discussed between intermediaries 2) Money will be an issue from Howland's perspective 3) Money won't be an issue from UCLA's perspective 4) There are some snags in Guerrero actually hiring Howland.  So, on just about any day, take your pick. Latest, 3/3:  Many close to the situation have maintained fora while that he's interested in the job, but rumors are heating up in circles close to Howland that his interest in the job is very serious -- to the point that many believe it's more likely now that he could become UCLA's next coach than it ever was.  

 

Mark Few, Gonzaga Head Coach.  One of the most successful on the west coast in recent years, he continued to build Gonzaga into a powerhouse once Dan Monson left for Minnesota.  He does it with discipline, organization and a good system, and hard-working assistants. There is a question of whether Few is wound too tight for the UCLA job, and whether he'd really want to leave his hometown area to live in Los Angeles.  But if Few really wants it, and if money constraints eliminate other candidates, he very well could be a leading candidate to be UCLA's next coach.  LATEST:  There are rumblings among west coast coaches that indicate the Few camp believes they're right there for the job, such as talk about the potential staff and discussions concerning UCLA's roster.  Few has his "good fit" characteristics for the job, being a straight-laced, straight-forward type in the mold of John Wooden and Roy Williams.  He also has some aspects that are marginal fits -- such as his inexperience as a head coach and potential to handle the UCLA job. Regardless, it's known that Few is on the extreme short list. He was thought to be behind the big names -- Pitino, Williams and Montgomery, as well as Howland, but many believe while Howland plays hardball, Few's stock is rising with the UCLA administration. Latest, 3/16:  The general feeling is that Gonzaga not getting the automatic bid to the NCAA tournament by winning the WCC tournament won't blemish Mark Few's chances at the job. He'll probably get an at-large bid to the tournament anyway, but regardless, he's still on the short list. Latest, 3/10:  He's the tortoise here -- the strong, steady, dependable candidate that will more than likely be there at the end.

 

 

Roy Williams, Kansas Head Coach. Don't laugh. It is a longshot, but it would be a possibility, and you'd probably hear his name kicked around.  He has said before the only other jobs he would take would be North Carolina and UCLA.  He turned down North Carolina last year, but North Carolina would have some considerable pressure for him, and UCLA wouldn't.  He loves the west coast, he's John Wooden's favorite college coach, he reportedly doesn't get along with the KU athletic director, and knows UCLA's assistant AD, Besty Stephenson, who is from KU.  He could very well be entrenched so deeply in Kansas that he would never leave.  UCLA also probably couldn't afford him, and he'd probably have to take a pay cut for the better chance at winning a national championship at UCLA. Yes, it's a longshot, but you have to consider it.  LATEST:  We had heard last week that UCLA had communicated with both contacts for Roy Williams and Rick Pitino, indicating to them that UCLA would like to know if either were interested in the job.  There are now indications that Pitino has said he isn't. There are indications that Williams hasn't declined interest.  In an interesting twist, he comes to the L.A. area today with Kansas to play in the west regional semi-final NCAA game.  More and more, there are signs and sources indicating that UCLA could very well be waiting to find out the interest level of Williams before it proceeds.  We still maintain that it's unlikely Williams will come to UCLA, but it hasn't been dismissed yet.  Latest, 3/16: Roy Williams has indicated he wants to be considered for the job. That doesn't mean that everything would work out and he'd take it, but there is interest on the part of Williams. Latest, 3/10: More rumors are cropping up that he's unhappy at Kansas and is considering UCLA.  Then there's the speculation that comes along with those rumors that Williams might just leverge the UCLA opening to sweeten his deal at KU.  Lon Kruger, former coach of Illinois, Florida and the Atlanta Hawks. A proven name in coaching, it might feel like a longshot, as you would think all of the former NBA coaching names you hear bandied about would be. But there are pretty strong rumors that he wants the UCLA job and money wouldn't be an issue.  It is now thought that this has enough to get past the initial speculation stages. LATEST: The Lon Kruger rumors have really heated up in the last couple of days, with even tales of how Kruger has really campaigned to UCLA for the job.  With his money situation and his coaching rep, he's a very viable candidate. If it falls through with Howland, many believe Kruger could be the guy there to pick up the pieces.  Latest, 3/10: Sources close to the situation consistently have his name on the short list.  A source said that Kruger has contacted UCLA.  Latest 3/3: More and more rumors have circulated that he wants the job.

 

Mike Montgomery, Stanford Head Coach.  Again this season, he's proving himself to be a magician of a coach.  He is probably one of the best five coaches in the country, and that's probably conservative.  It's unlikely he'd come to UCLA, but he would probably get at least an inquiring phone call. Montgomery is getting tired of always being up against the high academic standards of Stanford's admissions, but he has hinted that he didn't want to remain coaching too much longer and might very well want to play out his career at Stanford.  LATEST:  There have been some interesting bits of news regarding Montgomery recently.  Sources close to him indicate that he's interested in the job. And sources from UCLA say they'd be interested, too.  Apparently, though, Montgomery has a good-sized annuity built in to the backend of his contract with Stanford. If he stays and retires from Stanford, he gets a tidy sum of cash.  UCLA would have to, at least, make a big enough offer to him to allow him to walk away from that without a worry.  Also, there have been reports that when Montgomery re-negotiated his deal for more money a few years ago, Stanford insisted that a clause be included in the new contract that specifically disallowed him from going to UCLA. Of course, there are good attorneys out there that would have to get Montgomery out of it, but it's another fly in the ointment in regards to Montgomery.  Latest, 3/16: The rumors persist on Montgomery, but some close to the situation believe it's still just speculation from the Montgomery camp, and that, once the search really was conducted, Montgomery and UCLA wouldn't be on the same page. Latest, 3/10:  Some sources close to him believe he'd consider the UCLA job if UCLA would be willing to pay for him. Apparently he has a pretty good financial deal struck with Stanford if he finishes out his career there.   Latest 3/3:  He's one of the favorite names in the Morgan Center, but he has told many close to him that he wouldn't make the  move to UCLA. The word is that he doesn't see himself coaching long, and wants to end his career at Stanford.

 

Others on the Big List:

 

Rick Pitino, Louisville Head Coach.  You really don't have to provide his basketball coaching history.  He said in the L.A. Times that he wanted the UCLA job two years ago, but then took the Louisville job. LATEST: It looks like the Pitino-to-UCLA dream has come to an end.  Pitino has publicly indicated he intends to stay at Louisville, and sources close to UCLA have said that UCLA hasn't received any indication that Pitino is interested.  It was fun to dream. Latest, 3/16: Pitino probably provides us the most contradictory rumors of anyone on this list.  Within a few hours, one good source tells us he's open to the job, while another good source says he'll stay at Louisville. Latest, 3/10:  Pitino gets moved from the unlikely to the likely list of candidates this week. Believe it or not, there are now relatively strong rumors that he's interested and would consider taking the job. But remember, that's just the rumors this week. . Latest 3/3:  He still would love the UCLA job, but sources say he won't consider it and stay in Louisville for personal reasons.

 

Rick Majerus, Utah Head Coach.  When the job opens up, he will openly campaign for it. He definitely wants it, and he's wanted it for years. It's a question of whether UCLA and Majerus could reach an accord, given some of his issues. Namely, his health. Secondly, Majerus might not be able to adapt to being the type of team player UCLA wants its coaches to be. Going to alumni and booster dinners, etc., isn't something Majerus does at Utah. Thirdly, Majerus is taken care of financially at Utah, and it's a question whether he'd be willing to take a pay cut to come to UCLA. Fourthly, UCLA would probably have a problem with his lifestyle, living in a hotel, etc. So, Majerus would have to probably make some concessions or UCLA would, or both, and UCLA would probably have to pay him some bucks. The latest is that Majerus is saying he's willing to make some concessions. We'll see. The fact that he is clearly one of the best coaches in college basketball and wants the job makes it intriguing. LATEST:  It's clear Majerus wants the job, but because of various issues, it appears UCLA might not want Majerus.  Sources close to Majerus say the coach himself is extremely skeptical at this point that he'll even hear from UCLA.  Rumors from UCLA had indicated that Majerus would at least get an interview. Latest, 3/16: Rick Majerus wants to interview for the job. It's a question of whether Dan Guerrero knows what he wants, knows he can get it, and that doesn't involve Majerus, which we've heard is likely. Latest, 3/10:  He wants the job, and there have been some influential people promoting Majerus for the job to Dan Guerrero.  The word, though, is that it's still unlikely he'll get it. But it could at least get to the interview stage.

 

Lon Kruger, former coach of Illinois, Florida and the Atlanta Hawks. A proven name in coaching, it might feel like a longshot, as you would think all of the former NBA coaching names you hear bandied about would be. But there are pretty strong rumors that he wants the UCLA job and money wouldn't be an issue.  It is now thought that this has enough to get past the initial speculation stages. LATEST: There has been little or no mention of Kruger in recent days among sources.  It's uncertain if you can take anything from this. It's pretty certain that UCLA hasn't contacted him as of yet. Newspaper reports have him the favorite for the Georgia job, since he lives in Atlanta (being the ex-Atlanta Hawks coach).  Latest, 3/16: The Lon Kruger rumors have really heated up in the last couple of days, with even tales of how Kruger has really campaigned to UCLA for the job.  With his money situation and his coaching rep, he's a very viable candidate. If it falls through with Howland, many believe Kruger could be the guy there to pick up the pieces.  Latest, 3/10: Sources close to the situation consistently have his name on the short list.  A source said that Kruger has contacted UCLA.  Latest 3/3: More and more rumors have circulated that he wants the job.

 

Pat Douglass, UC Irvine Head Coach.  He's not, reputation-wise, on the same level as some on this list, but he's considered a good coach in college basketball circles. He's the coach that UCLA athletic director Dan Guerrero hired at UC Irvine. Guerrero knows him, knows he's a good coach and trusts him. The fact that the UCLA community clamors for a bigger name, with a combination of how tired it is of UCLA's history of hiring no-name coaches and how ugly this season has gotten, it could make it difficult for Guerrero to pull the trigger. For one, it's generally believed that Douglass will have to have a great season and at least make the NCAA tournament, and that's very much in doubt at this point. Hiring Douglass would not give UCLA the immediate buzz and lift that hiring a more proven name would, especially in recruiting. And given the outrage over the program right now, you'd have to think that Douglass would have a very short honeymoon.  He would have to prove his worth on the court next year. He is, though, a good basketball coach and would more than likely get it done at UCLA. He also has a rep for hiring good assistants. Latest, 3/16: Not making the NCAA tournament is a real blow to Douglass's chances.  In the atmosphere around the program right now, without having made the NCAA tournament, it would make it very difficult for Guerrero to pick Douglass over other, bigger-named candidates who are making indications they want the job.  At this point, sources believe that it'd have to fall through with various other candidates for Guerrero to name Douglass. Latest, 3/10:  The chances of Douglass hinge quite a bit on how Irvine does in the post-season. They're seeded #2 in the Big West tourney this coming weekend. The team they can't beat, UC Santa Barbara is seeded #1.  If UCSB, though, gets knocked off in the first two rounds, watch out for Irvine and Douglass.  Latest 3/3: The generally accepted feeling is, for Guerrero to hire him, it will take an NCAA berth and a good run in the tournament (maybe to the Sweet 16) for Guerrero to be able to rationalize it. 

 

Dana Altman, Creighton Head Coach.  In the college basketball world right now, there really aren't too many coaches that fit UCLA's criteria: In his mid-40s, been a head coach for longer than just a few years, has proven himself by turning around a program (or two), doesn't currently make a lot of money, would be happy with what UCLA could pay and has west coast ties. Other than really strong west coast ties, Altman is one of the very few coaches in the country who fit just about every other criteria. And he's from Nebraska, which is closer to west coast ties than, say, Pennsylvania.  He's one of the hottest up-and-coming coaches in the country.  He's taken Creighton to the NCAA tourney three years in a row, turning their program around in his six years coaching there. Before that, he was the head coach at Kansas State for four years and took them to one NCAA tournament and two NITs.  If there's an underdog name that could get some play when UCLA looks for a new coach, this could be it. LATEST: Even though his Creighton team lost in the first round, don't count out Altman. Sources say that he is regarded highly at UCLA and is definitely on the back-up list if the bigger names fall through. Latest, 3/16:  We told you very early on that Altman would be a candidate, and now there is some information that he not only would want the job, of course, but sources close to UCLA say he's now a good candidate to be a candidate.

 

Ernie Kent, Oregon Head Coach. He fits most of the criteria.  He's considered a good coach, has west coast and Pac-10 ties, has great head coaching experience, and he's Black, which would be an attractive asset.  Kent at one time had indicated he would be interested in the UCLA job. He's smart, he recognizes that it will be difficult to sustain Oregon's recent success.  But he could now be so entrenched in having built the Oregon program that it could be difficult to leave. Also, going inter-conference isn't something many coaches do. But it's safe to believe Kent would be a candidate. The knock: His teams don't play great defense.  Latest, 3/16:  Kent is really making it very obvious that he at least wants to be considered for the job, or at least wants the buzz from being considered for the job. Hey, UCLA should give Ernie Kent as much play as possible. Even though his teams don't play defense and defy logic sometimes, he's built a program at Oregon. And, among all the coaches that have been confronted with the possibility of the UCLA job, Kent has easily made the best comments about UCLA and how great a job it is. Just for that, he deserves consideration.  

 

Tom Crean, Marquette Head Coach. No west coast ties and the fact he's just starting to get it done at Marquette might not get him beyond just a casual mention.  He's also just 35 years old.  LATEST:  His name keeps getting included by sources close to UCLA as being fairly high on the list of names behind the bigger names. Latest 3/3: It's believed he would take the job in a flash. 

 

Brad Holland, San Diego Head Coach. Ex-UCLA player,  it's his dream job, and he'd definitely get mentioned, but there are at least a few above him on the list that UCLA would have to strike out with for UCLA to get to him. Holland also isn't having a year that will make him hotter -- or more viable to the UCLA community.  It could be a tough sell for Guerrero,  And the theory would be that Holland would basically be in the same league with Douglass, and if UCLA could do it with names higher on the list and then came down to these two, Guerrero would probably opt for Douglass over Holland anyway. LATEST: He hasn't been contacted, but it's believed he'd get a courtesy interview, being a Bruin. A source also indicated that it's highly unlikely he'd get the job.

 

Quinn Snyder,  Missouri Head Coach. The word is he would want the job badly. But it's unlikely he'd get past the initial name-mentioning stage.  He's young and slick, and is really still unproven. He also has a rep for cutting corners in recruiting.  He's kind of the Rick Neuheisel of the basketball coaching world.  LATEST: His name keeps coming up as being on the longer, back-up list. But we believe that's about as far as it goes with Snyder.  Latest 3/3: He's told many people around him he'd really want the UCLA job. Another example, along with Calipari, of how the UCLA coaching job is a coveted one.

 

Tim Floyd, former coach of Iowa State and the Chicago Bulls. He's in the same category with Kruger: He's an ex-NBA coach who's made a lot of money and money might not be an object who was once a very good college coach and rumors are floating that he'd like the UCLA job.  Kruger and Floyd are not impossibilities but good sources indicate that they're longshots.  Latest, 3/10: The word is that, while Floyd's name isn't being tossed around that much in connection with UCLA, he's lying in the tall grass, so to speak, and inconspicuously is a candidate.

 

Less Possible Candidates:

 

Larry Brown, Philadelphia 76ers Head Coach.  He would probably take some interest in the job if it opened up.  It's unlikely, though, that it would happen.  And it probably wouldn't be because of money since, for Brown, that really isn't a big consideration in his life anymore.  Brown's history of hopping around, his history of NCAA infractions, and his age might deter UCLA the most.  Brown would have to really sell Guerrero, and Brown probably isn't in the stage of his career where he feels he has to sell himself to anyone.  LATEST:  Billy Witz of the Daily News is reporting that Brown has contacted UCLA through intermediaries and wants the job.  The two biggest issues here are 1) Brown's past indiscretions and 2) the question of how long he'd stay at UCLA. UCLA would have to make it pretty iron-clad that Brown wouldn't hop soon. And the other sub-question: If he did play out his career at UCLA, how many more years could that possibly be? In his 60s, you wouldn't think Brown would coach much longer. It'd more than likely be a case where he groomed an assistant to take over the position in five years.  But that might not be ideal, in Guerrero's eyes.  It's known, though, that there are many still close and inside the athletic department who love Brown and would love to see him return to UCLA.

Mike Dunleavy, former Los Angeles Lakers, Milwaukee Bucks and Portland Trailblazers coach. Having no college experience as a head coach would be a big strike against him.  Not really having great success on the pro level might be another.  Latest 3/3: There's a rumor that Dunleavy has expressed to UCLA his interest in the job.  Remember, there is nothing limiting UCLA from talking with unattached coaches such as Dunleavy, Kruger or Floyd at this time.  The word, though, is that Dunleavy will be a top canidate for any NBA openings this summer and he'd opt for those first.

 

Mike Brey, Notre Dame Head Coach. He's one of the best up-and-coming names in the business.  He was an assistant under the best coach in the game, he's turned around two programs and has recruited elite players.  There are sources that say he's on Guerrero's short list.  The negative is that it's thought he's in line to get the Duke job when Coach K leaves and likes his job at Notre Dame.  But Brey is shaping up into a very strong potential candidate, according to good sources. Latest 3/3:  More and more sources around Brey believe he'll stay in Notre Dame, and it's not because he's waiting for the Duke job. In fact, Brey might not want to follow up Coach K at Duke. But being an east-coast guy, the word is that he won't want to come west.

 

Jeff Van Gundy, former New York Knicks Coach. He has said that, if he wanted to take a college job, he'd want the UCLA job.  He's considered one of the best coaching minds in the business.  But it's more than likely a longshot; He'd probably want too much money and really, when it came down to it, wouldn't want to coach college basketball.

 

Steve Cleveland, BYU Head Coach.  As stated, it's slim pickings when it comes to coaching candidates that might meet UCLA's criteria. Because of this, someone like Cleveland might get a mention. He's turned around the BYU program, is having a good year, has solid experience as a head coach, has west coast ties and is from California.  He is Mormon, though, and the ties to BYU might be too binding. Latest 3/3: There is talk that he could be a strong name emerging on the list of candidates behind the big names.

 

Kelvin Sampson, Oklahoma Head Coach. On the surface, Sampson has probably the best criteria of anyone to be UCLA's next coach.  He's one of the hottest coaches in the country, and he has west coast ties (coached Washington State). The rumor is that he's earmarked to replace Lute Olson at Arizona, but we hear that isn't necessarily the case. We have heard, though, that Sampson could like the smaller, college-town environments, though.  He might cost a good chunk of money, too. There has been very little buzz about Sampson wanting the UCLA job.

 

Bill Self, Illinois Head Coach. His name would probably come up, but he more than likely wouldn't leave Illinois unless it was for the Kentucky job or an NBA job. Most consider him a future NBA coach.

 

Tubby Smith, Kentucky  Head Coach. His name would probably get thrown around since the situation at Kentucky isn't great for him right now. But he'd probably price himself out of the UCLA market. It'd be interesting, though, to see if Smith would be motivated enough to leave Kentucky that he might not care too much about the slight in money.

 

Bob Williams, UC Santa Barbara Head Coach.  He has a rep as a good coach, and a good recruiter.  He is well-liked by UCSB's AD, Gary Cunningham, the ex-UCLA head coach who is also close to Guerrero. He's done very well at UCSB, and is having a good year. Williams would probably be a solid name on the secondary list of candidates.

 

Bobby Braswell, Cal State Northridge Head Coach.  Braswell might be a solid candidate on the second-tier list. He's a good coach and gets a lot out of his teams and players. And he's one of the most respected up-and-coming Black coaches in the game.  His knocks would be that he's only been at Northridge, and he has a rep for being a taskmaster that is sometimes hard to live with.

 

Mark Gottfried, Alabama Head Coach.  Ex-UCLA assistant who's doing really well at Alabama (even though he's currently in a slump), it's known that he would probably want the job.  Gottfried, though, would probably be down the list a bit since UCLA might not want any connection to the Harrick era.  Gottfried is also well taken care of at his alma mater, Alabama, and would want some considerable cash to come to UCLA, and it's unlikely UCLA would want to pay for him.

 

Names That Could Crop Up:

 

Mike Davis, Indiana Head Coach.  He's done a good job at Indiana after Bobby Knight left, taking the Hoosiers to last year's championship game and having a good season so far this year.  It's believed his lack of experience would nix the deal. But he would probably send out feelers to indicate he was interested.

 

Stew Morrill, Utah State Head Coach.  A coach that fits many of UCLA's criteria, and one highly respected on the west coast. Over the past four and a half years at Utah State, he's 109-37. He has west coast ties, he's been a head coach at three different schools (Utah State, Colorado State and Montana) and done well at each.  The word is, though, that he is happy where he is. Honestly. And that he feels more comfortable at a smaller program. 

 

Names that Have Gotten Thrown Around and Probably Will Get Thrown Around More That are Very Unlikely:

 

John Calipari, Memphis Head Coach:  Successful at the college level when he was at UMass, and now, having made money from a stint in the NBA, he's trying to get it done at Memphis.  Considered a good coach, but has a rep for not being completely above board.  Latest 3/3:  He has said he wants the UCLA job, but it's unlikely UCLA would consider him a good fit.

 

Paul Westphal, Pepperdine Head Coach. While on the surface it might make sense, it's an extremely bad fit.  Westphal is a pro style coach since, well, he was a pro coach. His teams play little defense and lack discipline – not exactly the style Dan Guerrero would want.  Also, Westphal, being a former pro coach, isn't exactly a recruiting junkie.  He could possibly be looking for the next step to another pro job.  And he very well might not have the hunger and aggressiveness that UCLA could really use.   And being a USC guy, he's openly made jokes about UCLA in the past.

 

Henry Bibby, USC Head Coach.  An extreme longshot to everyone who knows anything about the UCLA situation and Bibby as a coach. Bibby isn't exactly an easy personality to get along with. His players don't exactly like him. They might respect him as a coach, but they might not like him. It's not too much to ask that UCLA has a coach that players like and respect. They type of players he recruits wouldn't fit well at UCLA either.  It's just not a good fit all around.

 

Billy Donovan, Florida Head Coach. He's a name being thrown around by the national media -- most of whom don't know the UCLA situation well.  He's done well at Florida, but it doesn't make much sense for him to leave a program has the resources to be a top 15 program, and already is, and one that pays him very well. His name is more than likely being floated to increase his marketability -- in case the coveted Kentucky job opens up. 

 

Bobby Knight, Texas Tech Head Coach.  The word is that Knight would want the job but only if UCLA pursued him, and that's highly unlikely.

 

 

 


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