|Associated Press/Eric Gay|
Was Ben Howland that bad of a coach, or has UCLA lost its luster of being a top coaching job to have in college basketball? In 10 seasons, he gathered 233 victories and 107 defeats, made the NCAA Tournament seven times, and added three trips to the Final Fours from 2006-08. What other college coach can say that, not many!
I think being at a glamorous university such as UCLA takes a coach with a big personality. I’m not sure Ben Howland had that type of personality but, he clearly had the coaching skills to make the Bruins competitive while he was there. So I’m not buying these rumors about having the red hot, young Virginia Commonwealth University coach Shaka Smart or the consistent Brad Stevens of Butler possibly going west to be the next UCLA coach. Those guys are making their own strong tradition at VCU and Butler respectfully. I don’t think they need or fit UCLA star-studded world.
That’s the problem with basketball programs, football too for that matter, when they become larger than life. Not to mention that high profile college basketball stars expect everything when they arrive and mean more than the coach.
So it’s reported that UCLA will give Howland a $3.2 million buyout so they can search for his replacement. I would like to know why UCLA Athletic Director Dan Guerrero really fired Howland. My guess is Howland lost the recruiting ability to keep local California kids, or he couldn't get back to the Final Four and battle for a National Championship.
I’m not sure who will be the next coach for the Bruins since they’re not knocking at my door I wish whoever it will be good-luck because the late John Wooden isn't walking through Pauley Pavilion doors.
Until next time, live out your DREAMS with some Determination, put forth Real Efforts and given your Abilities; Means you will have Success.