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Word From Westwood - March 13, 2012
Courtesy: UCLA Athletics  
Release:  03/14/2012

Word From Westwood by Dan Guerrero

Word From Westwood - Deliver to Inbox

March 13, 2012

Fellow Bruins,

A few weeks ago, I said to all of you, as well as to the local and national media, that the evaluation of the men's basketball team and coaching staff would be at the end of their season, as it is with each of our programs and coaches.

I mentioned at that time that I would be meeting with head coach Ben Howland and UCLA Chancellor Gene Block, to determine what the future held for our beloved program. I am pleased to report that those meetings were productive, and that we all shared an alignment of vision for the future of the program.

As we all know, Coach Howland has guided some of his UCLA teams to compete at the highest level of college basketball and I am convinced that he can get us back there. Thus I announced earlier today that he will be retained as our coach.
 
Coach Howland is eager to continue to carry on the UCLA basketball tradition.
 
While a great deal of attention has surrounded the men's basketball program in recent weeks, many of our teams and individuals have made their own news, including:
 
· The announcement of the 2012 Spring Football Schedule with open practices starting April 3

· A perfect 10 on the vault for senior Tauny Frattone as #3-ranked gymnastics defeated #2 Oklahoma in front of a capacity crowd at the Wooden Center

· A 10 game winning streak for the #9-ranked baseball team entering Tuesday's game against USC at Dodger Stadium and a home series against Arizona State this weekend

· Sophomore Ida Storm's school record during her second place finish in the weight throw at the NCAA Women's Indoor Track & Field Championships

· #1 women's water polo, #1 women's tennis and #1 women's golf remaining atop the national rankings in their respective sports

· #4-ranked men's tennis, winners of four out of its last five matches, meeting Baylor this week in a rematch of last year's Round of 16 battle in the NCAA Tournament

· Softball (ranked #16) reeling off seven consecutive wins prior to a two-week break in their schedule

Ask Dan Question of the Week

Q: Dan, I would like to know if the Athletic Department is planning a dinner or an event for Al Scates. I play golf with 3 high school friends, and we thought it would be fun to surprise Al, as we all attended Westchester High School together in the 50's.
Marty Stradtman, Irvine

A: Marty, thank you for the question about a man who truly is a living legend.

As you may already know, we recognized Al for his contributions to UCLA Athletics at a men's basketball game earlier this year, and, as expected, he drew a standing ovation from the crowd. However, that is just the beginning of what we have planned for the man who has done so much for us over the years.

While Al and his team are busy preparing for their final eight regular-season matches, starting with this Wednesday's tilt against USC at the Wooden Center, we are working on a couple of very meaningful tributes. First, we will show a short video documenting his career and retire his jersey after the final home match of the regular season on April 7 against BYU. Since it will be held in the Wooden Center and seating is limited, be sure to purchase your tickets in advance. In addition, after discussions with Al on the best time of year to do it, we will host a special celebration for him next fall after the annual alumni match is played in the new Pauley Pavilion. When more information on what the event will entail becomes available, we will be sure to share it with the entire Bruin family.

Thank you all for your submissions - please know that each question submitted was read, and please don't forget to submit a question to questions@athletics.ucla.edu this week.

Go Bruins!

Dan Guerrero
Director of Athletics, UCLA

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