Coach

UCLA Hires University of Cincinnati Coach to Lead Its Men's Basketball Program

Mick Cronin is the storied basketball program's 14th head coach

The longtime head coach at the University of Cincinnati has been named the head men's basketball coach at UCLA.

Mick Cronin agreed to a six-year contract worth $24 million, according to UCLA Director of Athletics Dan Guerrero. The school fired Steve Alford in December. Alford led the Bruins' storied program to four NCAA tournament appearances, including three trips to the Sweet 16, but the team limped to a 7-6 start. 

"Mick Cronin is a fierce competitor, and I'm excited to welcome him to Westwood," Guerrero said in a statement. "Mick has built a fantastic program at Cincinnati, backed by integrity and discipline, and he has instilled an undeniable toughness in his student-athletes. I am confident he will build this program the right way and lead UCLA basketball back to national prominence."

Cronin said he was "incredibly humbled and honored" to become the 14th head coach in UCLA men's basketball history.

"UCLA is a very special place with a strong tradition of excellence," he said. "To be able to join such a world-class institution is truly a privilege, and I can't wait to get started in Westwood."

Cronin has a 365-171 record in 16 seasons as a collegiate head coach. During his 13-season tenure as head coach at his alma mater, the University of Cincinnati, he guided the Bearcats to the NCAA Tournament each of the past nine seasons. He's one of six coaches in the nation to achieve that feat, alongside Mark Few (Gonzaga), Tom Izzo (Michigan State), Mike Krzyzewski (Duke), Bill Self (Kansas) and Roy Williams (North Carolina).

In 2018, Cronin was named Sporting News National Coach of the Year and was also a semifinalist for the 2018 Naismith Trophy National Coach of the Year award. The Cincinnati native currently has the most NCAA Division I victories (365) among active coaches under the age of 50.

"At UCLA, we expect our coaches to inspire student-athletes to strive for the very best in everything they do -- during a game, in the classroom and out in the community," said UCLA Chancellor Gene Block. "I have great hopes for Mick Cronin and am confident he understands our values of academic and athletic excellence, recognizing the very high bar set by Coach John Wooden."

Copyright CNS - City News Service
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