April 11, 2013
LOS ANGELES - UCLA head men's basketball coach Steve Alford returned to Los Angeles on Tuesday, capping off a busy first week on the job that included a weekend at the NCAA Men's Final Four in Atlanta.
In the nine days since his official introduction to the UCLA community in Pauley Pavilion, Alford had time to meet with UCLA's returning players, assemble his coaching staff, attend the Final Four and meet with families of UCLA players who are from the Atlanta area.
"It's been a very busy time as I've coordinated this transition at UCLA," Alford said. "When I was on campus a week ago, I had the chance to meet with our entire team in the Pauley Pavilion locker room. That was a very exciting moment for me. I told them to continue to focus on their academics right now, and as we hit the ground running we will start to get into basketball. This is an important time for our program."
Alford flew from Los Angeles to Albuquerque the night of April 2 after his first full day on campus in Westwood. He departed for Atlanta on Thursday, and one of his first responsibilities was to assemble his coaching staff.
Joining Alford on the coaching staff this season will be Duane Broussard, Ed Schilling and David Grace. Broussard spent 10 years on staff at the University of New Mexico, including the last five seasons working with Alford. Schilling served as head coach the last four years at Park Tudor High School, a basketball powerhouse in Indianapolis. Grace arrives in Westwood after having coached at Oregon State the last five seasons. In addition, Tyus Edney will continue to serve as the program's Director of Operations.
While in Atlanta, Alford kept a busy schedule attending numerous events, including the semifinal games of the Final Four on Saturday at the Georgia Dome. He also attended the Legends of Hardwood Breakfast, where he was able to visit with Nan Wooden, daughter of legendary UCLA head coach John Wooden.
Now back in Westwood, Alford's immediate responsibilities include finalizing his support staff, meeting UCLA's returning players in a one-on-one format, and embarking on a very active recruiting period. Alford and his assistant coaches will continue working with all areas in support of the basketball program, including academics and strength and conditioning.