Steve Alford’s UCLA contract includes mirrored $10.4 million buyout

Steve Alford isn’t leaving UCLA anytime soon.

According to his contract, obtained by the Los Angeles Times, Alford is tied to the school by a $10.4 million buyout — owed should either party leave the other before April 30, 2016.

That mirrored buyout drops to $7.8 million by the same date in 2017, $5.2 million in 2018, and $2.6 million in 2019. His $2.6 million-per-year contract ends in 2020.

The terms almost guarantee that the Bruins will keep Alford at least through April 2018. Such an exorbitant commitment is rare in college basketball, especially for a coach who hasn’t reached a Sweet Sixteen since 1999. Alford has also been criticized for his handling of Iowa star Pierre Pierce’s sexual assault charges in 2002, which he apologized for over a week after his April introduction at Pauley Pavilion.

Before the contract was released, a UCLA spokesperson had said that the school agreed to pay Alford’s full buyout with New Mexico, including the tax burden. The school said in May that the payout amounted to $300,000, with another $325,000 coming from Alford’s previously surrendered bonuses.

However, UCLA paid Alford a $845,615 signing bonus to compensate “for lost income … relating to his departure from his prior position.” Continue reading

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Steve Alford agrees to buyout with New Mexico

Over a month after his sudden departure from Albuquerque, Steve Alford has agreed to a buyout with the University of New Mexico.

The UCLA basketball coach will pay a $300,000 buyout, according to a statement from the Bruins. UNM officials announced Friday afternoon that Alford’s buyout will produce a “net benefit” of $625,000, but UCLA stated that the rest of that sum will come from bonuses the coach had previously given up when he terminated his contract with the Lobos. A buyout agreement has not yet been signed.

Alford took the UCLA job on March 30, just ten days after agreeing to a 10-year extension with New Mexico. After the 48-year-old signed a seven-year, $18.2-million deal with the Bruins, New Mexico said that Alford owed the $1 million buyout stipulated in their new agreement.

The coach instead offered $200,000, the buyout indicated on his prior contract. He had never signed a finalized contract — only a term sheet contingent on one — but the Lobos argued that since Alford had not given proper 30-day notice, the new one still took effect on April 1.

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New Mexico wants $1 million from Alford by April 29

UCLA coach Steve Alford got a hug from Shaq on Tuesday, but got some far less welcoming news a day later.

New Mexico, his employer of the past six years, wants its full $1 million buyout before the end of the month. Alford had blindsided the school, taking a job with the Bruins just 10 days after the announcement of a 10-year extension with the Lobos.

According to documents obtained by the Albuquerque Journal, the school’s legal counsel is arguing that Alford’s original contract — signed in 2007 — required that he give 30 days notice before leaving for another job. Therefore, the school considers his last day to be April 29, and is demanding full payment by the same date. Continue reading

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New UCLA head coach Steve Alford: The good, the bad, the ugly

Former New Mexico coach Steve Alford isn’t a home-run hit as a coaching hire, but under the circumstances, UCLA athletic director Dan Guerrero could have done worse. With Butler’s Brad Stevens and VCU’s Shaka Smart recommitted to their respective programs, the Bruins’ were running out of big-name options.

Alford’s recent 10-year extension with the Lobos proved to be a minor obstacle, and Guerrero had clearly been communicating with the coach about the job for at least the past few days. Here’s a look at what the 48-year-old Alford brings to Westwood.

The good: Continue reading

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Full transcript from UCLA’s AD Dan Guerrero on hiring Steve Alford

UCLA athletic director Dan Guerrero’s opening statement:

Tremendously exciting day for me and the entire UCLA family as we are proud to announce the hiring of Steve Alford as the new men’s basketball coach. Since last Sunday, obviously, the last six days have been pretty crazy, quite a whirlwind. There was a great deal of interest from many circles for this job. During the past several days, I received a lot of input from individuals both inside and out of basketball. Around the game of basketball as well. These individuals have provided great input, great insight, and certainly helped contribute to where we are today.

I think what resonated most about these conversations is how much alignment of vision there was between me and many others in terms of the characteristics that were important in the next coach. In Steve Alford, we found exactly what we were seeking. An outstanding coach, a great competitor, an excellent teacher of the game, builder of programs, someone who cares deeply about his players and his family. An individual that values academics, that has established a habit of winning in his respective programs. Maybe more importantly, an individual who really wanted to accept the challenge of being the head coach at the UCLA.

I can’t tell you again how thrilled again I am to have Steve and his family join us. I believe he will build this program the right way.

Q: When did you know he became available considering he had just agreed to a contract extension at New Mexico? Continue reading

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UCLA hires New Mexico’s Steve Alford

UCLA has officially hired New Mexico head coach Steve Alford, the school announced Saturday morning.

“Steve is the perfect fit for UCLA,” athletic director Dan Guerrero said in a statement. “He is part of the storied history of the game of college basketball and understands the tradition and uniqueness of UCLA. Yet he also connects with a new generation of players and brings an up-tempo and team-oriented brand of basketball to Westwood. We welcome Steve, his wife Tanya, and children Kory, Bryce and Kayla to the Bruin family and look forward to many years of success.”

Alford will reportedly make $2.6 million per year on a seven-year contract.

The coach had just agreed to a 10-year contract extension with the Lobos that reportedly paid him $2 million a year including incentives, but a buyout of just $150,000 left the door open for the Bruins. The buyout was set to increase to $1 million on April 1. Continue reading

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