This story originally appeared in UCLA Today, a discontinued publication.

UCLA welcomes new head basketball coach

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Steve Alford
 
Head coach Steve Alford (right) with UCLA Athletic Director Dan Guerrero at April 2 press conference
 
Just three days after being named the 13th head coach in UCLA men's basketball history, Steve Alford appeared at his first press conference on Nell and John Wooden Court in Pauley Pavilion today.
 
Alford, formerly head coach at the University of New Mexico, was introduced to the local media by UCLA Athletic Director Dan Guerrero. In the audience were UCLA Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Scott Waugh, members of Alford's family, friends, colleagues, current and former Bruin players, and former professional stars such as Mike Warren, Marques Johnson, John Vallely, Keith Erickson, Toby Bailey and Shaquille O'Neal.
 
"Nine days ago, when we decided to pursue a new direction in our men's basketball program, we were presented with a great opportunity to create the next chapter in Bruin basketball history," Guerrero said. "But with that opportunity came an awesome responsibility to find a coach who could not only embrace what we are and what we've always been but certainly have a vision for what we could become.
 
"We found a coach who not only represents and honors and respects the treasured history of college basketball and UCLA's place in it but also a coach who can bring a brand of exciting basketball with unselfish and talented student–athletes."
 
Alford admitted that it was a tough decision to leave the University of New Mexico.
 
"But when you think of excellence, and when you think of college basketball at its pinnacle, it's UCLA basketball," he said. "I'm really excited to be at a place that is at the top when it comes to college basketball. I'm looking forward to the opportunity and to the challenge."
 
Watch the full press conference and an exclusive interview with Alford.
 
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