The once proud UCLA Bruins hired Mick Cronin Tuesday as their 14th head coach in program history.
If ever there was a coach that screamed anything but Southern California, it’s Mick Cronin.
Cronin goes to L.A. after 13 less than stellar seasons in Cincinnati that saw the Bearcats reach the Sweet 16 only once in his tenure as coach. Cronin agreed to a 6 year, $24 million contract that the Bruins will soon regret.
Cronin was the Bruins’ third or fourth choice at best during the search. Rumors swirled that UCLA courted Kentucky head coach John Calipari before Calipari and the Wildcats agreed to a contract extension last week. The Bruins then turned their attention to TCU head man Jamie Dixon, but were unable to get a deal done due to Dixon’s $8 million buyout. On Monday, Tennessee head coach, Rick Barnes, leveraged an offer from UCLA to restructure his contract with the Volunteers.
After a less than fortunate series of events in the coaching search, UCLA settled for their plan D, Mick Cronin.
“I am incredibly humbled and honored to become the head coach at UCLA,” Cronin said. “I’m especially grateful to Chancellor Block and to [Athletic Director] Dan Guerrero for this opportunity to join the Bruin Family. UCLA is a very special place with a strong tradition of excellence. To be able to join such a world-class institution is truly a privilege, and I can’t wait to get started in Westwood.”
Life certainly is a feisty mistress for the UCLA basketball program, last week they were courting John Calipari. Today, Mick Cronin is the new head coach. America certainly is the land of opportunity.
Cronin hopes to resurrect a program that has not been to a Final Four since 2008.
No word on when they will start the search for their 15th head coach.