UCLA has received a massive infusion of cash for its basketball programs and its coaches have been bestowed new titles as part of a $6.5-million donation that was announced Thursday.
The donation from Jodi and Michael Price will establish the Michael Price Family UCLA Basketball Excellence Program to support both the men's and women's teams equally at the discretion of their respective head coaches and Bruins athletic director Dan Guerrero. It's expected that the money will fund new development programs and initiatives.
As part of the donation, both men's coach Steve Alford and women's coach Cori Close will be designated The Michael Price Family UCLA Head Basketball Coaches. Stanford already has a similar arrangement, with coach Jerod Haase known as The Anne and Tony Joseph Director of Men's Basketball.
Michael Price graduated from UCLA in 1983 with a bachelor's degree in economics. He said in a statement released by the school that he had been inspired by the accomplishments of a host of Bruins athletes including Jackie Robinson, Rafer Johnson and Arthur Ashe, among others.
"These deeply impactful student-athletes truly personified excellence and egalitarianism through their actions and subsequent impact and outcomes to society," Price said in the statement. "In honor of UCLA's great legacy and these exceptional individuals, this gift and its proceeds are intended to promote and support excellence-based programs and initiatives, equally within the men's and women's basketball program."
Guerrero thanked the Prices for their generosity and support in a statement in which he acknowledged that "the naming of our head coaching positions is not something we take lightly. The Michael Price Family UCLA Basketball Excellence Program represents an unprecedented, longstanding commitment to the well-being of our student-athletes and the success of our men's and women's basketball programs. It is deserving of an unprecedented show of appreciation."