Guerrero backs Howland

UCLA athletic director Dan Guerrero released a statement declaring that Ben Howland’s job is safe:

“As I have stated before, at the conclusion of each sport’s season, a program and its coaches are evaluated. That evaluation includes a comprehensive review of the performance of the team, including its competitive success and its continued commitment to academics, but where other aspects related to the overall management of the program are also considered.

I had several discussions with Head Coach Ben Howland before deciding on what was best for the future of UCLA Basketball. Subsequent to these conversations, and in consultation with Chancellor Block, I have made the decision that the UCLA men’s basketball program will remain under Coach Howland’s leadership and direction.
Obviously, we are aware of the recent criticisms of our men’s basketball program; Ben understands full well that the management and oversight of the program needs improvement. He has assured me that, going forward, both the character and performance among our student-athletes will reflect the University’s values and the basketball program’s storied tradition. I believe that his overall record and performance proves he is more than capable of delivering on these assurances.”

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  • Anonymous

    This is without a doubt the right call.

  • Anonymous


    If we fired every coach after every bad season I’d might be next in line to coach the team.

    Okay, it’s been a couple bad seasons, but I blame that on Reeves Nelson now.

  • BruinInSeattle

    This is the first thing Guerrero has done right in a long time…

    …I’d credit him with the Mora decision, too, but really feel he lucked out into that one (seeing as his first six choices balked and Mora hasn’t yet proven himself…but has said all the right things and hired a very capable staff)…

  • BruinPain

    No surprise here and I approve of AD Guerrero’s continued support of Coach Howland. I look forward to next years incoming recruiting class joining the group of kids we have returning. I hate to bring up that other site but there must be a suicide watch for Murshed and his minions.

  • Reformed Droog

    Personally, I’m in favor of this decision, but I believe that Howland is justifiably on the hot seat. He SHOULD have the hottest seat in the nation next season.

    I hope that he can turn things around and bring UCLA back to national success and prominence. Obviously, as Howland goes, so goes UCLA basketball.

  • romeojam

    Say what you will about this season. Given the adversities (no real home court or home court advantage for that matter, 4 new starters who beside Jerime never saw any real significant time before this year, the Reeves episodes, and an out-of-shape JSmith), this is absolutely the right decision.

    We support you Howland and Guerrero! Can’t wait for the season next year with the new arena and Kyle Anderson manning the point. 8 clap anyone???

  • The Blur

    Right on Droog. Well said.

  • Anonymous

    Who has two thumbs, got their comments deleted from Bruinsnation just now for calling them out? This guy!

  • clone12

    If it’s wrong for me delightfully bask under the heat of 1,000 burning suns that is the blind and primal rage of BruinsNation, then I don’t want to be right.

  • Anonymous

    Backs or giving him another chance?

    Howland knows what he has done is unacceptable. Guerrero is telling him he needs to get his act together.

    The team can’t shoot, and can’t pass, but they can eat, steal, fight, and transfer.

  • Anonymous

    I’m with Clone12. While I think replacing Howland would have been a good call, it’s worth bringing him back just to witness the exploding heads over at BN. I just visited the place for a lovely dose of schadenfreude.

  • Semi-Pro

    Now we just need them to eat up rebounds, steal the ball, fight for positioning, and transfer the ball to open players for easy shots!

  • Anonymous

    Fire Howland!!! Fire Guerrero!!! Fire Block!!! Oh wait…I thought I was on BN. Sorry.

  • Russ

    I do recall with vivid clarity that Dan backed Rick Neuheisel solidly and believed he was a good coach and knew that the up and coming season would improve.
    Ben Howland needs to know that even with solid backing NOW another poor season just might cause Dan to kick the exit door wide open for him. 2012/2013 season might just be a deal breaker should UCLA again go uninvited.

  • highlander

    I am very happy about this move. Ben Howland is obviously a very good coach who made recruiting mistakes followed by a failure to deal with the team thugs and malcontents appropriately. He’ll fix it.

    That said, the problem I have with Guerrero’s statement is that his own lack of personal accountability. We have had discipline and commitment problems in both the football and basketball. Where were you Mr. Guerrero? Did you know anything about what was going on? Did you offer to help in any way? Did you allocate enough budget to hire assistant coaches and others who were capable of working and monitoring these kids more closely? The answers are no.

    Mr. Guerrero, you share some of the blame for the current state of our programs. Please acknowledge that you have learned from it, and let’s all move forward.

  • BruinRogue

    I can’t complain much. But Howland needs to on a short leash and under a microscope. Getting Shabazz on the team and actually playing will help.

  • The Puppy That Lost His Way

    Seeing that Howland within the last couple days publicly disavowed any of his comments from the post-SI press conference, I’ve lost complete respect for the man. He should be fired after the comments he made to the Times in the last couple of days.

    But, the AD in year 9 of his tenure can’t possibly fire the FB and BB coach in the same year and then justify keeping his own job, so we’ll continue to go backwards and sideways with CBH.

  • tim warren

    @ highlander –

    Agree re DG

  • carlos

    Come on people – we support Dan G?? He is the worse AD in america. When San Diego State is kicking ass – and we don’t even get an invite to the NIT? 10 loses in 11 seasons to the hated Trojans in Football – Bad facilities? Do you see where this is going? Dan G – has to go – Ben H? If he does not have a great season next year – he should be next. We have to hold UCLA to a much higher standard than what we have become. We have become the champions of the NON-REVENUE sports…..Horrible!!!!!

  • Irvine Bruin

    SDSU? Seriously? What is the admittance requirements for that school. The moment Bruin fans realize that there is a GPA requirement to play ball at UCLA…a public school no less…the sooner you will realize that our coaches do a pretty damn good job.. Remember, Duke…Notre Dame…and Stanford are private schools and deal with the same grade requirements as we do. They have their up and down seasons as well. I am pretty proud as an alumnus to have these kinds of standards and have the most national championships. But, this is just one man’s opinion. Otherwise, open the flood gates and we can be just like UNLV, SDSU, USC, etc. What do you want?

  • Carlos

    Irvine – we were ranked top 20 pre-season. Bad coaching cost us games. Josh Smith being fat and out of shape all year long, cost us games. Horrible attendance cost us games. When we have superior talent, and still do not get invited to the NIT, well something is wrong. Not holding B Howland accountable is ridiculous. You seem to be okay with just having kids play the games – what has happened in Westwood????

  • ucla-of-the-rockies

    If anything, maybe the good news out of this one is that it pulls DG in for much more accountability. If Ben makes it back big, then we all win.

    If not, maybe the scrutiny about DG’s handling of our major programs will result in a more thorough house cleaning to restore our storieds hoops program.

    One that might include DG going down the road, too.

  • Coach Thom

    So, the Guerrero, Howland, and Block band wagon continues to rattle on. What a shambles.

  • tim warren

    @ Irvine – I understand how good feelings can be gained by stressing academics, and that’s where the Ivy League is today. As I recall, we have upped our academic standards over time because of numerous previous transgressions involving both the football and basketball teams over the years. Our problem is our traditional crosstown rival (a rivalry now 80 years old) does not get as fazed when they go through their various probations. We’ve now lost to them 12 out of 13 years in football. Even though they’re in the midst of a probation, their fans looked pretty happy during last year’s 50-0 debacle at the Coliseum. I didn’t see one Bruin fan holding up a sign during that game that said “Yeah, But We’re Happy With Our Higher Academic Standards”. I just want a level playing field – minimum Pac 12 conference academic standards and playing by the rules yes, higher-than-required academic standards no.