Steve Alford got his year back.
UCLA announced Friday that it had awarded its men’s basketball coach a one-year contract extension that runs through the 2020-21 season, more than a year after Alford had returned a previous one-year extension in the wake of a losing season.
The Bruins went 31-5 last season and reached an NCAA tournament regional semifinal for the third time in Alford’s four seasons at the school. UCLA tied a school record with 28 regular-season wins while going 15-3 in the Pac-12 Conference.
“Steve did an outstanding job, helping produce one of the nation’s most exciting offensive teams in recent memory,” UCLA athletic director Dan Guerrero said in a statement announcing the contract extension. “There was a significant buzz about UCLA basketball around town and among the sellout crowds at Pauley Pavilion. As such, he certainly earned back the one-year extension that he had voluntarily returned prior to the season. We are looking forward to seeing what 2017-18 brings.”
UCLA’s seven-man freshman class features McDonald’s All-Americans Jaylen Hands and Kris Wilkes and has been widely ranked among the best in the country. The freshmen will join senior center Thomas Welsh and junior guard Aaron Holiday, who will return after initially declaring for the NBA draft to receive evaluations about their professional prospects and areas to target for improvement.
Alford returned a one-year extension in March 2016 after the Bruins completed a 15-17 season. They more than doubled that victory total last season while finishing second in the nation in points per game (89.9) and leading all Division I teams in assists per game, (21.4), field-goal accuracy (52.2%) and assist-to-turnover ration (1.91).
Alford has compiled a 96-45 record in four seasons at UCLA, producing nine NBA draft selections, including Lakers rookie Lonzo Ball, the second overall pick in the most recent draft.
UCLA also announced that Duane Broussard, a longtime assistant under Alford going back to his tenure at New Mexico, had been elevated to the position of associate head coach.
The Bruins will play Cal State Los Angeles in their exhibition opener on Nov. 1 at Pauley Pavilion.