Ben Howland guided UCLA to seven NCAA Tournament appearances in 10 seasons, compiling a 233-107 record (.685) as the Bruins' head coach. He led UCLA to three consecutive Final Fours (2006-08), four Pac-12 regular-season titles (2006-08, 2013) and two Pac-12 Tournament championships (2006, 2008).
Howland became the program's first head coach since the late John Wooden to win three consecutive conference championships (2006-08) and is UCLA's only head coach other than Wooden to have led the Bruins to three straight NCAA Final Four appearances.
Through 19 seasons as a collegiate head coach, Howland has logged a 401-206 overall record (.661). Between five seasons at Northern Arizona (1995-99), four years at Pittsburgh (2000-03) and 10 seasons at UCLA (2004-13), Howland has led his teams to 10 NCAA Tournament appearances. Additionally, he has guided his teams to the "Sweet 16" five times, including three straight trips with the Bruins from 2006-08.
In 10 seasons at UCLA (2004-13), Howland led UCLA to more overall victories (233) and a higher winning percentage (.685) than any other Pac-12 program over that 10-year span.
UCLA was the only Pac-12 program to have recorded more than one 30-win season in that 10-year period - the Bruins had three consecutive years with at least 30 wins in 2006, 2007 and 2008. UCLA also led the group of 12 teams, over those 10 years, in Pac-12 wins (121), conference win percentage (.672), NCAA Tournament victories (15), and Pac-12 regular-season championships (4).
In seven of Howland's final nine seasons, the Bruins have finished in the top three of the Pac-12 Conference.
Howland has been a Conference Coach of the Year in three different leagues - 2006, Pac-10 Coach of the Year at UCLA; 2002, Big East Coach of the Year at Pittsburgh; 1997, Big Sky Coach of the Year at Northern Arizona.
In 2008, Howland became one of three coaches in NCAA Division I history to win at least 30 games in three consecutive seasons, joining Adolph Rupp (Kentucky, 1947-49) and John Calipari (2006-08). His 97 victories from 2006-08 stand as the most by any UCLA head coach in a three-year span.
In addition to success on the court at UCLA, Howland helped produce 12 NBA draft picks in nine seasons, the highest total among Pac-12 programs in that span. The Bruins' 12 NBA draft selections rank among the top five, nationally, from 2004 through 2012.
Howland and UCLA entered the 2012-13 campaign with the nation's No. 1-ranked recruiting class, as rated by ESPN.com. The incoming class featured three McDonald's All-America selections - Kyle Anderson, Shabazz Muhammad and Tony Parker - in addition to talented shooting guard Jordan Adams who finished the season as the Bruins' second-leading scorer.
In 2012-13, UCLA advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the seventh time in the last 10 seasons and won its first Pac-12 regular-season crown since 2008. The Bruins finished with a 25-10 overall record, reaching the 25-win plateau for the fifth time in the last eight years. Prior to Howland's arrival at UCLA, the Bruins had won 25 games or more in six of the previous 28 seasons (since Coach Wooden retired).
Howland became one of five head coaches in Pac-12 history to have won at least 100 conference games and maintained a winning percentage above .650 (list includes John Wooden, Lute Olson, Jim Harrick and Mike Montgomery). Howland logged career victory No. 400 in the Bruins' 80-75 win over Arizona State in a quarterfinal game at the Pac-12 Tournament (March 14, 2013).
UCLA went 19-14 in 2011-12, playing its entire home schedule away from Pauley Pavilion as the Bruins' historic home arena endured a complete renovation. The Bruins played 14 games at the Los Angeles Sports Arena and four contests at the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif. Lazeric Jones finished his senior season as the Bruins' leading scorer, helping guide UCLA to an 11-7 record in Pac-12 play.
In 2010-11, Howland led the Bruins to their sixth NCAA Tournament appearance in seven years. UCLA went 2-311 overall, posting a 13-5 record and second-place finish in the Pac-10. UCLA advanced to the NCAA Tournament's third round with a 78-76 second-round victory over Michigan State.
UCLA missed the NCAA Tournament in 2009-10, snapping a streak of five consecutive tournament appearances after going 14-18 overall and 8-10 (tied for fifth) in the Pac-10.
In 2008-09, Howland guided the Bruins to a 26-9 overall record, a 13-5 league mark and a second-place finish in the conference. UCLA advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament, finishing third in the Pac-10, in a season during which the Bruins registered a 10-game winning streak. The 2008-09 squad finished the season ranked No. 18 in the final Associated Press and ESPN/USA Today Coaches' polls.
In 2007-08, Howland led UCLA to its third consecutive appearance at the Final Four. The Bruins ended the season ranked No. 3 in the final Associated Press poll and ranked No. 4 in the ESPN/USA Today poll. The Bruins went 35-4 with a 16-2 Pac-10 record that season, winning their third consecutive regular-season title and their second Pac-10 Tournament title in three years. UCLA's 35 victories were the most in school history.
UCLA advanced to the Final Four for a nation-leading 18th time in 2008. Since 1975, the Bruins have played in 17 NCAA Regionals, including six since 2000 and nine since 1995.
In 2007, the Bruins went undefeated at home (16-0) and ended the season with a 30-6 overall record and a 15-3 mark in the Pac-10. UCLA played in the Final Four for the second straight season after having won consecutive NCAA Tournament games against Weber State, Indiana, Pittsburgh and Kansas. The Bruins won the Pac-10 regular-season title that year after having opened the season with a title at the Maui Invitational.
In 2005-06, Howland's third-year as UCLA's head coach, he directed the Bruins to the NCAA championship game - UCLA's first such appearance since winning the 1995 NCAA title. UCLA recorded 32 victories that season, tying the then-school record of 32 wins set in 1995, and ended the seasons with a No. 7 national ranking. The Bruins had a 12-game winning streak, their longest such streak since 1997, entering the NCAA championship game.
In addition, UCLA secured the 2006 Pac-10 Tournament title, its first such championship since 1987. UCLA landed its first regular-season Pac-10 title since 1997, going 14-4 in league action. The 2005-06 team will be best remembered for its defensive tenacity, limiting the opposition to 58.7 points per game (in 39 games, the fourth-lowest average in school history), including just 59.3 points per game in conference action (18 games) and 56.2 points per game in NCAA Tournament play (six games).
Howland garnered two National Coach of the Year honors in 2006 - the Jim Phelan Award (CollegeInsider.com) and a national award from CollegeHoops.net. He captured 2006 Pac-10 Coach of the Year acclaim, earned numerous other Conference Coach of the Year honors, and was named USBWA District IX and Basketball Times All-West Coast Coach of the Year.
After a two-year hiatus, Howland led the Bruins back to the NCAA Tournament in his second season (2004-05), joining an elite list of head coaches who have led three college programs to the "Big Dance" - UCLA in 2005-08, 2010; Pittsburgh in 2002 and 2003; and Northern Arizona in 1998. In 2004-05, he led UCLA to a third-place finish (tie) in the Pac-10 and to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2002. The Bruins finished the season with an 18-11 mark and an 11-7 record in Pac-10 play.
Following the 2005 NCAA Tournament, there were only 28 coaches in tournament history who had guided three different schools to the NCAA Tournament. Howland's overall NCAA record is 19-9 (15-6 at UCLA, 4-2 at Pittsburgh and 0-1 at NAU). In 2006, he made his first trip to the Final Four as a head coach.
Howland and his coaching staff landed three consecutive top-15 nationally-ranked recruiting classes from 2008-10 and secured the nation's top-ranked class in 2012. Howland's 2008 recruiting class was also ranked No. 1 in the nation by numerous scouting services and national websites.
In 2004, the Bruins recruited the nation's No. 4 (HoopMasters.com) incoming freshman class, led by McDonald's All-America selections Jordan Farmar and Arron Afflalo, along with Parade Magazine All-America selection Josh Shipp and CalHi Sports all-state center Lorenzo Mata-Real.
UCLA's incoming class in 2005 featured five of high school basketball's top seniors, considered among the best 100 players in North America - Alfred Aboya, Darren Collison, Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, Michael Roll and Ryan Wright.
Howland landed the nation's top freshman in 2007, Gatorade National Player of the Year Kevin Love.
Howland was hired as the Bruins' 12th head men's basketball coach on April 3, 2003, by UCLA athletic director Dan Guerrero after four seasons as Pittsburgh's head coach.
HOWLAND AT PITTSBURGH
In Howland's final two seasons (2001-02 and 2002-03), he guided Pittsburgh to a 57-11 mark, logging an 83.8 winning percentage which ranked second nationally during that period. In fact, Pittsburgh went 32-1 at home, including a perfect 16-06 in 2002-03 at the Petersen Events Center. The Panthers reached the "Sweet 16" both years and captured the 2003 Big East Tournament crown.
In 2002-03, Howland led Pittsburgh to a 28-5 overall record and a No. 4 ranking in the final Associated Press poll. Pitt held the nation's No. 2 ranking for eight weeks during the season. The Panthers earned their second consecutive trip to the NCAA "Sweet 16" and won a second straight Big East West Division regular-season title. Pittsburgh defeated Connectiut on March 15 to win its first-ever Big East Tournament title. That season, the Panthers entered the NCAA "Sweet 16" game against Marquette riding an 11-game winning streak. Pittsburgh standout point guard Brandin Knight was a member of the Wooden Award All-American team.
In 2001-02, Howland guided Pittsburgh to a school-record 29 wins, surpassing the former school record of 25 victories set in 1973-74. He became the first Pittsburgh head coach in 26 years to garner National Coach of the Year honors as he earned nine coaching awards including the Associated Press, Naismith, Henry Iba and the Sporting News national accolades, along with Big East Coach of the Year honors.
Howland led the Panthers to the Big East's West Division regular season championship, the first time in which Pittsburgh won a Big East men's basketball title of any kind since the 1987-88 season. Howland led the Panthers to their first NCAA Tournament appearance in nine seasons (since 1992-93).
That season, Howland became the first Pittsburgh coach since Charles "Buzz" Ridl in 1973-74 to lead the Panthers to the NCAA's "Sweet 16" with two NCAA Tournament wins over Central Connecticut State and California in 2002. Including the two NCAA Tournament wins, Pittsburgh went 11-2 over its last 13 games, with its only losses coming n a double overtime defeat in the Big East Championship title game and an overtime loss to Kent State in the NCAA "Sweet 16." Under Howland's direction, Knight earned All-America honors, along with USBWA District I Player of the Year and co-Big East Conference Player of the Year acclaim.
In 2000-01, the Panthers surged through the conference tournament to earn a surprising title game berth and won five of their last seven contests. It was in Madison Square Garden in 2000-01 that the college basketball world first began to take notice of Howland and his emerging program at Pittsburgh. That year, he directed the Panthers on a dramatic run through the Big East Championship, as Pittsburgh upset three higher-seeeded opponents - nationally-ranked Syracuse, Notre Dame and a surging Miami team - to earn the school's first-ever berth in the championship game. That strong finish resulted in a National Invitation Tournament (NIT) bid, the school's first postseason appearance in four years.
Howland arrived at Pittsburgh in 1999 with a reputation for developing great shooting teams. Not surprisingly, the Panthers dramatically improved in that regard. But Howland's real imprint on the Panthers was his team's passionate dedication to defense. As a result, Pittsburgh ranked amongst the Big East's best in scoring defense each of Howland's last two years (2002-03, 59.2/2001-02, 60.9).
Howland's influence was evident even after his first season at Pittsburgh (1999-2000, 13-15 record). Under his tutelage, Ricardo Greer blossomed into one of the top players in the Big East. Greer was selected by the league coaches as the Big East Co-Most Improved Player in 1999-2000 and concluded his collegiate career as a two-time All-Big East performer.
In Big East Tournament history, Howland is the winningest coach of that event (based on percentage/10 or more games). During Howland's four seasons at Pittsburgh, his Big East Tournament record was 8-3 (72.7). In his last three years (2001-03) at Pittsburgh, the Panthers advanced to the Big East Tournament title game and won the crown in 2003.
HOWLAND AT NORTHERN ARIZONA
Howland's first two teams at Northern Arizona finished 9-17 (1994-95) and 7-19 (1995-96), finishing in seventh-place each season. However, his 1996-97 squad went 21-7, set the school-record for wins and achieved the 10th best single-season turnaround in NCAA men's basketball history. Northern Arizona captured the Big Sky regular-season championship by three games and advanced to the National Invitation Tournament (NIT). Howland was named the conference's Coach of the Year.
The following season (1997-98), Howland guided the Lumberjacks to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in school history after capturing the Big Sky Tournament championship and second straight regular-season title. In a first-round NCAA Tournament game against No. 2-seed Cincinnati, Northern Arizona led the heavily favored Bearcats for the majority of the game before losing, 65-62, on a last-second three-pointer.
Howland's 1998 Lumberjack squad was inducted into the NAU Athletics Hall of Fame on Sept. 25, 2004. During Howland's five-year tenure, Northern Arizona emerged into one of the country's top shooting teams. In 1998-99, NAU became the first team in NCAA history to lead the country in both field goal percentage (.523) and 3-point field goal percentage (.445) in the same season. Additionally, the Lumberjacks led the nation in 3-point shooting in both 1997 (.419) and 1998 (.430), while finishing second nationally in field goal percentage (.516 in 1997/.511 in 1998).
From 1997 to 1998, Howland's teams produced back-to-back conference titles and also consecutive Big Sky Player of the Year honorees in Charles Thomas and Andrew Mavis. Northern Arizona tied a league record for most conference wins over a two-year span (27) and ranked amongst the nation's Top 30 in wins over that same period.
With Howland's success, the city of Flagstaff, Ariz., proclaimed April 27, 1998 "Ben Howland Day." While the success of Howland's teams on the court is impressive, his programs have also produced top-notch students. In 1998, NAU was one of only two schools in the nation (Utah was the other) to reach the NCAA Tournament and record a team grade-point average over a 3.0.
AS AN ASSISTANT COACH
HOWLAND'S PLAYING CAREER
Howland's basketball legacy of success dates back to his high school days. After beginning his prep career as a highly-decorated player at Dos Pueblos High School in Santa Barbara, Calif., he finished with two Surburbank League Most Valuable Player honors at Cerritos (Calif.) High School. He was also a two-time selection to the All-California Interscholastic Federation list. His collegiate career began at Santa Barbara City College in 1975-76 and 1976-77, where he was named team captain and led the Vaqueros to the California state finals in 1978.
Following his collegiate career, Howland spent time playing professionally in Uruguay. He landed his first NCAA Division I coaching job in 1981 as a graduate assistant at Gonzaga (Spokane, Wash.), where he coached future NBA Hall of Fame and Utah Jazz guard John Stockton, before moving to UC Santa Barbara the following year (1982-83).
THE HOWLAND FAMILY
Howland has a bachelor's degree in physical education from Weber State University (1979) and a master's degree in administration and physical education from Gonzaga (1981).