Dream Candidates The
coaches below have a solid resume, are believed to be realistic options
and fit the mold of what UCLA is looking for in a coach, bottom line.
1. Brad Stevens - Butler HC
has turned Butler into a powerhouse, taking it
deep into the NCAA Tournament multiple times in his career. He's also a
young 36, has a personality that would mesh well with fans, boosters
and Los Angeles media members, and he too would come at a price that
wouldn't require UCLA to back up the truck on his lawn.
Like Shaka Smart (below), he's been linked to just about every job
opening in the
last few years, and has turned them all down. He also lacks West Coast
ties, doesn't have a track record of recruiting or coaching high-major
players, and reportedly loves his job and his home in Indiana.
Stevens is reportedly making $1 million per year.
Latest on his connection with UCLA (3/29) -Multiple reports say
Stevens has turned down UCLA's offer and will remain at Butler.
2. Shaka Smart - VCU HC
Smart has taken VCU to four-straight 27-plus-win seasons, an NCAA Final
Four and two more NCAA Tournaments after that. If he can do that there,
imagine what he can do in Westwood. At 35 years old, he's young,
innovative and can relate to recruits in any part of the country -
especially Los Angeles. He also plays the style of basketball UCLA fans
want to see, and UCLA could give him a significant raise without
breaking the bank for him.
Smart has been linked with virtually every job opening in the last two
years, and he's turned them all down. Plus, he doesn't have West Coast
ties and outside of four great years at VCU, his resume isn't the best
on this list.
Without incentives, Smart is reportedly making $1.15 million per year.
Latest on his connection with UCLA (3/27)- Smart reportedly reached an agreement
with VCU Wednesday afternoon. He is now out of the running for the UCLA
Billy Donovan - Florida HC
Donovan would be the biggest splash UCLA could make in this coaching
search. He's still relatively young at age 47, he's a proven winner
with two national championships and multiple deep Tournament runs under
his belt, and he's a heck of a recruiter. Landing him would be UCLA's
Holy Grail this hoops offseason.
He's been at Florida for nearly two decades, he perennially has
national championship caliber teams, he's making outstanding money and
he's turned down NBA jobs before. There aren't too many reasons why
he'd leave Florida for UCLA.
Donovan is reportedly making around $3.5 million per year.
Latest on his connection with UCLA (3/24)-Donovan's
team is still in the NCAA Tournament and he likely will not have a
comment on the job opening for several days - if not weeks.
- Louisville HC
Much like Donovan, Pitino has it all: the rings, the high-major
recruiting track record, the ability to deal with big-time media -
everything. Pitino is a proven winner who can take big programs to
Pitino has built a powerhouse at Louisville, owning some of the best
players, facilities and coaches in the nation. Plus, it would cost UCLA
about double what it would probably like to pay a new coach to land him.
Pitino is reportedly making around $4 million per year.
Latest on his connection with UCLA (3/24)
- Pitino's team is still very much alive in the NCAA Tournament, and
it's likely he won't comment on the UCLA job until much after his team
- Kanas HC
Just like Pitino and Donovan, Self is a proven winner at a high-major,
blueblood basketball school. He has national championships on his
resume, and outside of Kentucky, there aren't many programs in the
country that recruit better than his Kanas squads.
Also just like Pitino and Donovan, there's no real incentive for Self
to leave his current situation. One of the most dominant coaches in
college basketball, Self is making great money, hauling in big-time
recruits and filling his gym with fans game in and game out.
Self is reportedly making around $3.85 million per year.
Latest on his connection with UCLA (3/24)-With
his team still going strong in the NCAA Tournament, there likely won't
be any comments on the UCLA job for days and weeks to come.
Probable Candidates The
names below are likely "second tier" candidates for the UCLA job, but
still very worthy of the consideration.
- N.C. State HC
A long-time UCLA assistant coach, Gottfried has roots in Westwood.
After spending eight seasons with the Bruins two decades ago, he knows
the recruiting landscape and the L.A. media market. Gottfried is also a
proven recruiter and plays the style of basketball that Bruins fans
would like to see.
Despite having several big name players, Gottfried's teams haven't
always performed up to par, highlighted by this week's NCAA Tournament.
Gottfried also had several underwhelming years at Alabama, and wouldn't
be as big of a name as the aforementioned five coaches.
Gottfried reportedly makes $1.95 million per year.
Latest on his connection with UCLA (3/29)-According
to a source close to the Gottfried situation, he is still very
interested in UCLA despite a tweet about a commitment to N.C. State
earlier this week. The problem, outside of a Bruin fanbase that would
detest this hire, is his buyout. At a reported $3.5 million-plus, UCLA
couldn't be able to pay his buyout, Howland's buyout and then give him
a contract as well.
7.Lorenzo Romar - Washington HC
Recruiting, recruiting, recruiting. Romar would
clean up Los Angeles
and California at UCLA, nabbing four-
and five-stars all over the
state. In fact, if he came to UCLA, the Bruins would not only secure
Zach LaVine's commitment, but they
might even have a shot at the No. 1
player on the West Coast, Aaron Gordon. He's also a former UCLA
assistant and has all kinds of ties to the area and boosters.
He hasn't made the NCAA Tournament in three years and is widely
regarded as a coach who can bring in
talent, but can't necessarily
coach it. Plus, UCLA needs to make a fan-friendly hire, and after
watching Romar's teams plod through the Pac-12 mud the last couple
years, Bruin fans wouldn't be ecstatic about this pick.
He's reportedly making around $1.7 million per year.
Latest on his connection with UCLA (3/29)- As candidates start
falling off of this list, Romar's name keeps getting hotter. Bruin fans
still appear to despise this idea, but according to nearly every coach,
recruiting handler and other sources associated with Romar and UCLA, he
would absolutely clean up recruiting in Westwood and would have some of
the most talented Bruins teams in years. Still, an expensive buyout
appears likely, and UCLA's fanbase may derail this as well.
Marshall - Wichita State HC
He's turned Wichita State into a dominant program, winning 25-or-more
games for four years. He also has his team in the Elite Eight,
something Wichita State could have never imagined five or six years ago.
He has no West Coast ties, and there
are some in the Division I ranks
raising eyebrows about his relationship with Junior Colleges.
Marshall is reportedly making around
$900,000 a year.
Latest on his connection with UCLA (3/29)- Marshall's stock has
skyrocketed because of his NCAA Tournament run. He's now, at least in
the eyes of Bruin fans and boosters, firmly a solid tier two choice for
UCLA with Smart and Stevens gone. According to multiple reports, tweets
and interviews, he has no interest in the UCLA job right now. Although
nobody would expect him to say anything different during this big run
9. Fred Hoiberg - Iowa State HC
A former NBA player and personnel guy, Hoiberg can no doubt handle the
media and the pressure of Los Angeles. The job he's done at Iowa State
- making two nice runs in back-to-back years - is also impressive, and
getting players like Royce White and other high-major kids to play well
has been quite the feat as well.
Hoiberg's name is now being tossed around for potential NBA head
coaching vacancies. If UCLA were to land him, the looming NBA gigs
could have the Bruins looking for a new head coach in just a few years
if he's successful.
Hoiberg is reportedly making around
$1.5 million per year.
Latest on his connection with UCLA (3/24)- Hoiberg figures to be
a hot name both on the college level and the NBA level this offseason.
For now, he's offered up no connections between he and the job opening
- Ex-Los Angeles Lakers HC
Kobe Bryant and LeBron James. That's about all you would
need to hear to sell recruits and fans on this one.
There's a noticeable stain on Brown after his Lakers collapse. He also
has no Division I coaching experience and there's no gaurantee he would
even want to come and commit to a college long-term.
Latest on his connection with UCLA
(3/26)- Nothing substantial at
all has come from Brown and UCLA. Although if the Bruins whiff on their
top targets, they need to make a signing that would still ignite the
fan base. A former NBA coach who can
promise big recruits and an
exciting brand of basketball wouldn't hurt
11.Tad Boyle - Colorado HC
Boyle has flipped Colorado into a Pac-12 favorite, and he's done it by
actually out-recruiting Ben Howland in his own backyard. He picks up
long athletes who can play defense and have high cielings - something
thriving programs like San Diego State, Arizona and UNLV have made a
killing on out in the West Coast recently.
Despite back-to-back solid years at Colorado, there's still not much
meat on his resume for UCLA fans and boosters to really sink their
Boyle reportedly makes around $200,000 a year, but has incentives in
his contract that can increase that drastically.
Latest on his connection with UCLA (3/24)- Boyle may not be the
sexiest name on this list, but his West Coast recruiting efforts the
last two seasons have been undeniable. That surely has UCLA interested,
although according to those close with Boyle and the Buff program, he's
not interested in leaving Boulder at this time.
Unlikely Candidates The
names below are likely last-ditch candidates for
the UCLA job, who the
Bruins may only consider if the
aforementioned coaches bow out.
12.Rodney Terry - Fresno State HC
Like a lot of candidates on this list, Terry is all about recruiting.
Reportedly responsible for bringing Kevin Durant, Tristan Thompson and
Myck Kabongo to Texas when he was an assistant there, Terry is another
coach who could make a haul at UCLA.
With only two years of head coaching experience, and no immediate
success at Fresno State, it'd be hard to justify UCLA landing him here
He's reportedly making around $350,000 a year.
Latest on his connection with UCLA (3/29)- Terry's name just
sprung up late this week, and given his recruiting ties across the
country, it at least makes some sense. UCLA would have to go far down
its list to arrive here, however.
- Villanova HC
Wright has turned Villanova into a perennial NCAA Tournament team, and
he's made some waves while he's been there. With a final four
appearance on his resume and a couple Sweet 16's, he knows how to get a
program to where it wants to be. Wright is also a solid recruiter,
hauling in four-stars with relative ease at Villanova.
There's not a lot about Wright that suggests he could thrive in a
market like Los Angeles. A member of a smaller program since 1994,
Wright has never seen the coaching pressure like he would see at UCLA.
- Wright reportedly makes around $2 million a year.
Latest on his connection with UCLA (3/24)-
With Wright's contract reportedly set to expire after this year, he
could be looking for a new landing spot. He would likely hear UCLA if
it came calling, but that conversation may never take place.
- Gonzaga HC
Few owns quite possibly the best program on the West Coast. His teams
never lose in the regular season and often find solid success in the
NCAA Tournament. He's also a strong West Coast recruiter and has
coaches on his staff that would make great assistants at UCLA as well
(see Donny Daniels).
Few has been coaching at Gonzaga for nearly three decades, and much
like Brad Stevens, he appears to be comfortable where he's at.
Few reportedly makes around $1 million per year.
The Latest on his connection with UCLA
(3/24) -Like Stevens and other powerhouse coaches on
this list, Few has found tremendous success with very little pressure
at his current job. While UCLA could triple his salary, it still
doesn't appear likely that he's headed south to Westwood.
- St. Mary's HC
Bennett has taken obscure St. Mary's and has moved it into the constant
limelight. A regular now in NCAA Tournaments, Bennett's teams always
play hard and he's become a well-known player on the West Coast.
Bennett and St. Mary's were found guilty of recruiting violations
earlier this year and the program suffered some big sanctions because
of it. Bennett has also reportedly turned down several Pac-12 jobs
recently, seeming to be content with where he's at.
Bennett's salary is currently unknown.
Latest on his connection with UCLA
NCAA sanctions and rulings will likely kill his chances at coming to
UCLA. The Bruins are certainly looking for a coach with a cleaner
record than Bennett for now.
16.Tommy Amaker - Harvard HC
Amaker has taken Harvard from a nothing into a legitimate NCAA
Tournament contender in just about five years. He's recruited extremely
well and, as evidenced by his NCAA Tournament win this weekend, he can
While under some not-so-great circumstances at Michigan, inheriting an
NCAA troubled program, Amaker didn't fare well in
his last high-major
stop. The head coach went six years without an NCAA Tournament bid, and
was ultimately fired after not producing there.
Amaker's salary is unknown.
Latest on his connection with UCLA (3/24)- After his big win in
the NCAA Tournament this weekend,
demonstrating the ability to play a
great style of basketball, Amaker's name is going to get thrown out for
the UCLA job. It remains to be seen if there's any actual teeth to
those rumors, however.
17.Andy Enfield - Florida Gulf Coast HC
He's America's sweetheart right now, taking a no-name school to the
Sweet 16. He could be the next Brad Stevens or Shaka Smart.
He probably doesn't have enough head coaching experience to get away
with landing a job of this proportion. While he is an ex-NBA assistant
and he's an up-and-comer, there's just not enough there to justify
taking the chance at this stage in UCLA's program.
Enfield reportedly makes $157,500 per year.
Latest on his connection with UCLA (3/26)- Enfield is living the
dream in the Sweet 16 right now, and likely won't have any involvement
UCLA until way down the road - if at all.
18.Reggie Theus - Los Angeles D-Fenders HC
Theus has great ties to the Los Angeles area, and AAU coaches in the
area love him as well. He's also an ex-NBA head coach, which would
immediately resonate with recruits, and he's had success at the college
ranks before, taking New Mexico State to an NCAA Tournament.
He hasn't coached college basketball since 2006-07, and really
coached much since 2008. He also was reportedly turned down for the
DePaul job in 2010.
Latest on his connection with UCLA (3/26)- Theus' name is
starting to be floated around in UCLA circles. The Bruins need to make
a splash, and an ex-NBA player and ex-NBA head coach could do the
trick. He's also reportedly a leading candidate for the CSU Northridge