In a day and age where athletes and coaches clamor for millions of dollars for their performance, what UCLA head basketball coach Steve Alford did, was to say the least exceptional.
On Sunday night, Alford announced in an email to the school supporters that he was returning his one-year contract extension given to him in 2014, following a 15-17 record this season. As a result, this left many fans calling for a new head coach. UCLA fans have even taken to the skies as Bruins Nation reports that a plane flew over the UCLA campus twice calling for Alford's firing.
"At the end of the day, year three was clearly not up to UCLA standards," Alford wrote in the email. "My coaching staff and I fell short not only of our own expectations, but the expectations of [Athletic Director Dan Guerrero], the Chancellor and you, our fans. As a coaching staff, we intend to earn that extension back."
The one-year extension ensured that he would be in Westwood through 2021, and it appeared to be a very smart move as he led the Bruins to back-to-back Sweet 16 appearances in 2014 and 2015.
However, Alford and the Bruins could not rekindle the magic of the past two seasons this year, especially in the conference as they recorded a 6-12 mark. As a result, they missed the postseason for just the fifth time in 28 seasons.
"While I don't expect this letter to change any opinions or take away the pain from this difficult season, I do hope it reflects my commitment to UCLA and shows that we will address areas in which we fell short," Alford wrote.
How does this affect his current contract? Now, according to the Washington Post, he will be the head man through 2020. His $10.4 million buy extends through April 30 of this year, and drops to $7.8 million April 30, 2017. In 2018, it will drop again to $5.2 million again on April 30 and to $2.6 million on that same date in 2019.
Good on Alford and his staff. He felt that he did not have an up-to-par season so he decided to something about it.
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