Guerrero: Decision to fire Howland was made today

Athletic director Dan Guerrero didn’t get into too many specifics in today’s teleconference on coach Ben Howland’s firing, but here are a few quick notes. Guerrero took questions for roughly 12 minutes.

— Guerrero said he did not make the decision until he flew back to Los Angeles from Austin this afternoon. He first met with Chancellor Gene Block before meeting Ben Howland to officially deliver the news.

— Howland’s compensation will be the $3.5 million left on his contract. Guerrero said that cost would be mitigated should Howland find another job. As for where the money will come from, Guerrero said: “We have an $80 million budget. We’re incorporate the buyout as part of that budget. … I believe we’ve got it covered.”

— Guerrero did not want to comment on speculation that Howland’s job could have been saved by a tournament run with a non-injured Jordan Adams, but did say this: “The fact that we had such a depleted roster, in many respects, is in part one of the reasons for making the decision.”

— On the coaching search: “We’ll look for someone who can play a fun brand of basketball, but also a quality brand of basketball. … We don’t want to bring in a coach that’s going to average 50 points per game.”

Guerrero said he will not contact a target that is still currently coaching in the NCAA tournament. He added that while college coaches have an edge, NBA coaches will also be considered.

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  • Mark

    Danny said a lot without saying anything. The “depleted roster” is a direct reference to the embarrassing stream of player defections. It leads me to believe this decision began to take hold in the fall when Lamb and Smith bailed. The “fun brand” of basketball refers to the insipid style of play Howland was known for.

    • Reformed Droog

      You’re still here?

      • Mark

        Why not? I have the most credibility…

        • maze949

          You’re a pathological liar who knows less about basketball than my four year-old cousin.

          • Mark

            What have I ever lied about?

          • maze949

            Being a season-ticket holder, an alum, a fan, having any basketball knowledge whatsoever (shall I go on?). There’s obviously some weird satisfaction you get from calling attention to your own dysfunction on the internet, it’s pathetic. Are you Nestor?

  • Marc

    I know that Dan said he wouldn’t discuss any coaches still coaching in the tourney, but give Gregg Marshall at Wichita State a call. I can’t be the only UCLA fan high on this guy. Is anyone but me watching this tourney?

    This guy is for real. Just think what he could do at UCLA with the resources UCLA has to offer. No offense meant towards Wichita State, but UCLA is U.C.L.A.

    • Marc

      And, he isn’t a “flavor of the week” as some might call. He has built a very nice coaching resume.

      Yes, I became very high on him in light of his team’s extremely impressive play this post season. But, I have researched his coaching resume and can say it certainly is darn good.

      If you don’t believe me, look it up yourself.

      He also has a dynamic sideline persona. Not in a bad way, like, a Stoop. A persona that exudes confidence and a bit of class.

      Those who claim “flavor of the week” will see him go somewhere and do extremely well. I just hope it isn’t USc. UCLA needs to have this guy on their list of candidates.

      • Mark

        I like the guy at Gulf Coast, too. But Brad Stevens should be the top choice.

        • Marc

          Oh, yeah. I agree that he is not pick number one. For me, it’s Shaka Smart.

          Though, I believe it would be extremely short-sighted of UCLA to not explore all options, including the FGCU coach and Gregg Marshall.

          Idiots of the world (Murshed Zaheed) call these guys “flavors of the week” and actually appear angry that such men would be considered. To me, that just shows the lack of business acumen that he holds. I can only assume that he would be extremely happy to hear USC hire one of these guys and have a strong run under them.

          As a businessman, I have been a buyer for over ten years. I took to looking at EVERY product in my particular consumer goods category, as I wanted a chance to say no to it before I found my competition selling it and it popping up all over Southern California. That meant I had a trust in myself to identify quality, knowing that I wasn’t 100% perfect (I am human, after all).

          That takes me to Dan Guererro; I believe he is not great and I believe that ultimately he is looking for a position in the NCAA’s. with that said, I have a fair understanding of the difficulties of his job and I’m not going to act like I can do it better. The childish mockery of him by those only shows their immaturity and lack of tact. Those two character traits don’t work in your favor when having adult conversations.

          • You do a fantastic job of selling those burgers at the Westwood McDonalds.

          • Marc

            What’s up you racist troGan fool? In-n-Out, not Mickey D’s, yo!


            Drunk again? On a Monday at 11:00 am, no less. Holy cow!

    • The Tournament ended when UCLA lost.

      • no the tournament ended for you, and the attitude is very provincial and snobbish.

        • Most readers understand that I was expressing my disappointment at UCLA’s early exit.

    • Ucla is ucla. One NC in 38 YEARS.

      • maze949

        suc is suc. 0 in x YEARS!

        • WE don’t give a crap about basketball.

  • ThaiMex

    Fred Hoiberg is at the VERY TOP of any list….HEAD and SHOULDERS above anyone else..Unfortunately he isn’t leaving Iowa for a college gig. He’s on the fast track to be an NBA Head coach in the next couple of years. I wish CBH nothing but the very best…..but hope he doesn’t end up at Stanford….He’ll make our lives miserable for YEARS!

    • Boring

      • Marc

        Dudes drunk again. LOLzzzzzzzz

  • Lifelong Bruin Fan

    UCLA has zero chance of landing Stevens or Few–they are the basketball equivalents of Peterson at Boise St. in football. Smart I’m not so sure about, but I’m not sold on him.

    Personally I’d like to see UCLA make a run at Jeff Van Gundy. The guy knows basketball, was a winner with the Knicks, has a pipeline with the NBA, understands large media markets and how to deal with a 3-ring circus atmosphere, and would attract top talent to Westwood. He would be a Mora-like hire for UCLA in basketball. (FYI I was a strong supporter of the Mora hire.)

    I’m not sure we could afford him or whether he wants to coach again (my sense is he does), but if there is a college coaching gig that would entice Van Gundy, this would be it. He knows the history of UCLA and the prestige of being head coach of the basketball program.

    • Mark

      I don’t think Van Gundy is feasible. Plenty of good up-and-coming college coaches would jump at the chance to coach Ucla.

      • Lifelong Bruin Fan

        Why do you not think it is feasible? Actually when you consider how much is at stake financially for UCLA to hire a coach who will be successful, spending an extra few million a year in salary seems to me rather insignificant, especially with about $80M in funding available as Guerrero mentioned.

        I’m sure there are plenty of up-and-coming college coaches who would jump at the chance to be UCLA head coach, but my preference is to find a proven commodity. UCLA basketball head coach is, after all, one of if not the pre-eminent coaching positions, not a proving grounds.

        • Mark

          Not feasible in I don’t think he’d be a good fit for the college game. First of all, he’s been out of coaching for a while. Second, college is a completely different game. To me, he would be way down on the list, like if UCLA can’t get Few, Stevens, Smart, the Gulf Coast guy, the Wichita State guy, Buzz Williams, and a few others.

          • Lifelong Bruin Fan

            I will grant you that he has been out of coaching for a while (left the Rockets after 2007), but he has been active as an announcer and keeps his pulse on the sport. Look at Mark Jackson–announcer for many years without any head coaching experience but now is doing a respectable job at Golden State.

            Which brings me to my point about understanding basketball and coaching. If you have coached at the professional level successfully, in my opinion you can coach at any level. Of course there are new things to learn, whether it be recruiting or dealing with boosters, etc., but as Coach Mora has shown on the field and in the locker room, it’s still the same game. Guys like Van Gundy who were not standout players have to be twice as smart to get their shot as a coach, and his experience in New York proves he has the ability to handle whatever is thrown at him.

    • I heard this afternoon that Van Gundy said that Miami’s winning streak (if they break the Lakers’ 33) would be a greater accomplishment than a championship.

      That disqualifies him automatically.

      • Lifelong Bruin Fan

        Well we all know how Van Gundy says things tongue-in-cheek, so without having heard him say it I’ll take it with a grain of salt. Of course if he was serious, I would disagree with him.

        But even if he was serious, I would still like to see him on the short list. I am really hoping this is what Guerrero meant by “also looking at the NBA.”

        • I heard it from Petros and Money. I’m pretty sure they would have picked-up on any irony.

    • Minn fired Tubby Smith, Teague the AD at Minn, had hired Shaka when he was at VCU.

      If friendship runs strong, if Shaka were to leave VCU I would put dimes to pennies that he is headed to Minn.