Posted March 24, 2013

UCLA officially fires Ben Howland, one day after denying reports

NCAAB
UCLA has fired coach Ben Howland after 10 seasons with the team.(Scott Halleran/Getty Images)

UCLA has fired coach Ben Howland after 10 seasons with the team.(Scott Halleran/Getty Images)

UCLA has fired men’s basketball coach Ben Howland, the program said in a statement on Sunday. The official news comes about 24 hours after the school denied a Yahoo! Sports report on Saturday that he was fired.

“I want to thank Ben for all that he has done for UCLA in his 10 seasons in Westwood,” UCLA Athletic Director Dan Guerrero said in the statement. “He embraced our tradition and culture and produced some terrific teams and coached a number of wonderful young men. We wish Ben and his family all the best as they move onto a new chapter in their lives.”

Howland was 230–105 in 10 seasons at UCLA with three straight Final Foul appearances from 2006-2008. In 19 seasons as a coach at Northern Arizona, Pittsburgh, and UCLA, Howland has compiled a record of 398-205.

After UCLA’s 83-63 loss to Minnesota in the second round of the NCAA tournament, Howland refused to comment on his job security. He said in a statement released by the school that he looks forward to “what comes next.”

“I have been blessed with the opportunity to coach at UCLA for 10 years and I will always be grateful to Dan Guerrero and Chancellors Block, Abrams and Carnesale for the opportunity to coach and teach our players and work alongside tremendous coaches,” Howland said. “The UCLA community and fans have been unbelievable to my family and I, and it’s been an honor and privilege to represent this great institution. I look forward to what comes next.”


8 comments
DavidPerkin
DavidPerkin

Ignore the garbage you read by a clown like T.J. Simers.  Howland is a fine man, a quality coach and he did an excellent job with UCLA.  I think the problems were twofold:  One, the talent never seemed to match the results.  For instance, UCLA has had players like Russell Westbrook and Kevin Love but  didn't win an NCAA title under Howland.  Second, his strict half court offense, tight defense and habit of chopping up the game flow with excessive timeouts may have been too restrictive.  In other words, if you have the horses, don't keep them in the barn or have them run around a corral; let them outside so they can run free.

frangooch32
frangooch32

There was no energy around the team or the program. The brand new Pauley never sold out. Team began each game poorly prepared, and in its few significant wins, came from far behind. Lost to Cal Poly and Washington State! Players have been transferring out in droves. He did not seem to develop talented players (Parker). He got some athletes, but they left as soon as they could (Westwood). Team obviously did not enjoy playing for him. Could not recruit in L.A. SI article exposed many of the program flaws. This is a great university that deserves better. This move was obvious, and if anything, overdue.

joeshine730
joeshine730

How can you win the Pac 12 Conference regular season and get fired?? How does that make any sense??? There has to be deeper problems and issues somewhere in between. Aren't coaches paid to win their league title?? Dig deeper there is a problem in there somewhere to cause the firing?

Rams2LA
Rams2LA

The program was in trouble. There was no depth in the program. With Adams hurt the Bruins were basically 7 deep. If he leaves for the NBA, and Anderson leaves or transfers, then you are just hoping and crossing your fingers that no recruits decommit next year. That is if you get a good class and not a class like Anderson, Roll, etc. The cupboard was bare and the only smart move was to start all over.  GO get the Florida Gulf Coast coach, those kids are having fun and seem to love playing for there coach.

help4mac1
help4mac1

Do PR people ever do a good job or do we only notice when they fail? 

Perhaps the world need less PR.

chaotic
chaotic

Reminds me of when Nebraska fired Frank Solich.  Dumb.

Tuckiefried
Tuckiefried

Pathetic firing.  Shame on you, UCLA.

 

mif9911
mif9911

 @frangooch32 Westbrook clearly did not like Howland, even though they reached the finals 2 years in a row.  Westbrook now with OKC is credited with trashing Ben.  The big fat center and the pot smoker who left also blamed the coach even though as athletes you are supposed to take care of your body.  Coaches cannot be nannies and should never be.  All other points I agree with you.