UCLA fires Ben Howland

Submitted by Paps on March 24th, 2013 at 9:57 PM

per ESPN the UCLA Bruins have fired Men's Basketball head coach Ben Howland after 10 seasons with the team.

He won 4 Pac-12 championships and took UCLA to the Final Four 3 times, but those were in the 2005-2007 seasons.  He had a 230-105 record at UCLA and was 118-58 in conference. In the past four seasons UCLA has missed the tournament twice, and the two times they made it, they lost their first game. 



March 24th, 2013 at 10:07 PM ^

He chased off a ton of good players, he can't recruit Southern California anymore, and the program is on a downhill slide. Given the state of the PAC-12, winning it isn't that impressive. Finally it was his program that was the focus of an embarrassing Sports Illustrated article. Not much to argue for keeping him.


March 24th, 2013 at 11:25 PM ^

Chance Stanback, Mike Moser, Malcolm Lee, Josh Smith, Tyler Honeycutt off the top of my head and that's a minor sample. There are a bunch of others along with being unable to keep Anthony Stover in class and an inability to keep Reeves Nelson under control. There were 8 scholarship players on the roster at the end of the season and this year the number of departures will outnumber an incoming class with no post players and no point guard(a longtime failing of his). He got lucky the freshmen this year were talented enough to overcome his coaching, but the program was going off the rails.


March 24th, 2013 at 10:13 PM ^

Before this year, a story came out which made a bunch of allegations about UCLA players smoking pot and breaking rules and stuff. It implied Howland had a poor grip on the program. It said he only showed up on gameday to meet and work with the team. 

If they were going to sack him, it should have been after that story came out last year. They gave him another year, he did well, even though he was pretty much a dead man walking.


March 25th, 2013 at 1:09 AM ^

Since Howland's been at UCLA, IU hasn't been to the Final Four, UK has gone twice, so has Duke, so has KU, and UNC has gone three times, same as UCLA. 

The guy went 13-5 in conference this year, won his league outright (one that looks better than perceived with the runs Oregon and Arizona have made in the tourney), beat UA twice in the last month, and lost their tourney game while playing an awful matchup for them without their 2nd leading scorer.  One of those years he missed the tourney, they were 11-7 in the Pac 12 in another weird year where folks were down on the league.

The guy got fired because people don't like his surly attitude and because some UCLA fans think it is still the 1970's.


March 25th, 2013 at 1:51 AM ^

Those three final four runs were very impressive, but he had an incredible amount of talent on those teams. Aaron Afflalo, Jordan Farmar, Darren Collison, Russell Westbrook and Kevin Love. What coach wouldn't go for the final four with all that talent? And he got zero national titles out of it.

Now, he got that talent there, which he should get credit for. But since Love, he hasn't been able to recruit the NBA players at near the same rate, and when he doesn't have elite talent, his teams don't win. His UCLA teams have been like USC football under Kiffen - way more talent than anyone they're playing, but not beating enough of them. At least SC has the excuse of other elite teams in the Pac 12. That league for basketball sucks.

UCLA lost at home to Cal Poly San Luis Obispo this year. Who isn't even good.


March 24th, 2013 at 10:04 PM ^

I wonder if he was a victim of the expectations that he created over that three year run with back-to-back-to-back Pac10 titles and final fours.  They haven't been back to that level, but still getting shit-canned after winning your conference is harsh.


March 25th, 2013 at 9:15 AM ^

"Hi, I'm a young, hip coach and we're going to play an up tempo, pressing style that will get you a lot of chances to finish at the rim on the break and a ton of shots in the half court while preparing you to play hardnosed defense like they want in the NBA. I got freaking VCU to the Final Four. If you come on board, what do you think we can do at UCLA?"

Yeah, I don't think he'd have much trouble recruiting at UCLA.


March 24th, 2013 at 10:53 PM ^

Northwestern?! Was this a joke? Shaka is one of the hottest coaches in the country, and you think he'd take one of the worst jobs in the country? Northwestern is one of only a handful of colleges to never go to the tourney. Moreover, they have zero tradition, no legacy of producing top talent, and little alumni support for the program. 

Shaka will get his shot at the big time...he'd be smarter to stay at VCU than go to NW


March 25th, 2013 at 9:17 AM ^

Yeah. I think he already turned down Illinois, which is a much, much better job than NU. There was some talk that Minnesota was going to make a run at him as there's apparently a previous relationship between Smart and Minny's AD, but the fire Tubby talk is pretty much done, at least for this year.


March 25th, 2013 at 2:04 AM ^

a really boring style of basketball. This is Socal, if it's not entertaining we won't show up. So if you are going to be mediocre at least be interesting. Also, a lot of recruits don't want to play in a system that is going to hurt their numbers with and overly demanding coach.