Alford signs 10-year deal with Nevada
RENO — The University of Nevada made it official on Thursday when the school’s athletic director Doug Knuth announced the hiring of Steve Alford as the Wolf Pack men’s basketball team’s head coach.
Alford, a highly successful coach with 11 NCAA Tournament berths and four Sweet 16 appearances, has signed a 10-year deal to lead Nevada. He will officially be introduced at an announcement event Friday at 2 p.m. in Lawlor Events Center. The event is open to the public.
“There is no better coach than Steve Alford to continue the rise of Nevada basketball and we are excited for the next chapter,” Knuth said. “To get a leader of Coach Alford’s caliber is a testament to the support of our community and our University. There is a great tradition of Wolf Pack basketball and the future is even brighter.”
Alford becomes the 19th coach in the history of the Nevada program. Alford has a career record of 587-298 (.663) in 28 seasons as a collegiate head coach and is 509-269 in 24 seasons as a Division I head coach. With Division I stops at Missouri State, Iowa, New Mexico and UCLA, his teams have averaged 21 wins per year with only two losing seasons.
“To be able to continue my career in a tight-knit community that has demonstrated its support for the basketball program is exactly the opportunity that Tanya and I were looking for, and we are thrilled to be in Northern Nevada,” Alford said. “I can’t wait to get to work as we look to build off the established tradition and momentum of this great program. I want this to be the last stop of my coaching career.”
Alford is no stranger to the Mountain West having coached New Mexico to four MW regular season titles and two MW tournament championships with six postseason appearances in his six seasons in Albuquerque. With Alford now coaching the Wolf Pack, seven of the last 11 Mountain West championships have been won by Nevada, or Nevada’s current coach.
Alford joins the Wolf Pack after five plus seasons at UCLA where he led the Bruins to four NCAA Tournament appearances advancing to the Sweet 16 three times in a four-year span in 2014, 2015 and 2017. The Bruins won the 2014 Pac-12 Tournament. During his tenure at UCLA he posted a record of 124-63.
He inherits a Nevada team that finished 23rd in the final USA Today Coaches poll after posting a 29-5 record. The 29 wins tied the school record that has been accomplished three times, twice in each of the last two seasons. The Pack has won the last three Mountain West regular season titles.
Nevada will be Alford’s fifth Division I head coaching job after making stops at Missouri State (1995-1999), Iowa (1999-2007), New Mexico (2007-2013) and UCLA (2013-2018). He began his collegiate coaching career at Division III Manchester College (1991-1995) and led the team to a runner-up finish in 1995 as the squad ended the year 31-1. The only loss came in the NCAA Division III title game.
In each of his previous coaching jobs he led his teams to NCAA Tournament victories. In 14 seasons his squads advanced to the NCAA Tournament, 11 at the Division I level and three at Division III. In addition to leading UCLA to three Sweet 16 appearances he guided Missouri State to its first Sweet 16 in 1999. Seven times he led squads to the National Invitation Tournament.
A proven winner Alford’s teams have won eight conference tournaments, the Big 10 twice (2001, 2006), the Mountain West twice (2012, 2013), Pac-12 (2014) and the Indiana Collegiate Conference (1993, 1994, 1995) three times during his time at Manchester.
No stranger to the MW, Alford led New Mexico to four regular season and two tournament titles in six seasons as the Lobos head coach. In 2009, 2010 and 2013 he was named the MW Coach of the Year. He posted a record of 155-52 at UNM and was 68-26 in conference play. Three of his UNM players; JR Giddens (2008), Darington Hobson (2010) and Kendal Williams (2013) were named MW Player of the Year. The Lobos 30 wins in 2012 and 29 in 2013 are the two highest win totals in program history. The 2012 and 2013 team secured No. 3 seeds in the NCAA Tournament which tied UNM’s record for highest seeded team.
In 15 seasons he had led his teams to 20 or more wins and three times 30 or more victories. His 2016-17 UCLA squad posted a 31-5 record with the 28 regular season victories tying the Bruins record for wins.
During his time at UCLA he coached 11 NBA draft selections, seven were chosen in the first round. In 2015 (Kevon Looney), 2014 (Zach Lavine, Jordan Adams, Kyle Anderson), 2017 (Lonzo Ball, T.J. Leaf) and 2018 (Aaron Holiday) he had first round selections. While at UNM, J.R. Giddens and Tony Snell were first round NBA selections.
At Manchester College he earned conference coach of the year honors three times. The 1994-95 team was inducted into the school’s hall of fame and in 1999 Alford was inducted into the Manchester Hall of Fame.
As a college senior Alford led Indiana to the 1987 NCAA Championship. The 1983 Indiana Mr. Basketball was a two-time consensus NCAA first-team All-America selection in 1986 and 1987. A three-time first-team Big 10 selection, he was the conference MVP his senior year. He ended his college career as the leading scorer at Indiana and currently ranks second. He played for Hall of Fame coach Bob Knight at Indiana. In 1984 Alford earned an Olympic gold medal playing for the United States in Los Angeles for a team coached by Knight. It was the last United States’ amateur team to win Olympic Gold.
In 1997 he was inducted into the Indiana University Hall of Fame and in 2001 was one 15 players named to Indiana’s All-Century team.
Following his career at Indiana he was selected 26th overall in the 1987 NBA Draft by the Dallas Mavericks. He played four years from 1987-1991 in the NBA for Dallas and Golden State.
He;s married to the former Tanya Frost. The couple has two sons Kory and Bryce and a daughter Kayla.
For tickets for the 2019-20 Wolf Pack men’s basketball season, please call (775) 348-PACK or sign up here: NevadaWolfPack.com/2019_20_MBB_Tickets