Ben Howland's tenure is over at UCLA. It's finally official.
UCLA released a statement Sunday night saying Howland, who led the school to three consecutive Final Four appearances from 2006 to 2008, has been bought out of the final years of his contract.
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“I want to thank Ben for all that he has done for UCLA in his 10 seasons in Westwood,” UCLA athletic director Dan Guerrero said. “He embraced our tradition and culture and produced some terrific teams and coached a number of wonderful young men. We wish Ben and his family all the best as they move on to a new chapter in their lives.”
Howland spent 10 seasons in Westwood, compiled a 233-107 overall record and finished his career with a Pac-12 regular-season title. UCLA lost to Minnesota in its first game in the NCAA tournament and finished the season at 25-10.
The decision will cost UCLA $3.5 million to buy Howland out of the final five years of his deal.
The Bruins will now, according to sources, target high-profile coaches such as Butler's Brad Stevens and VCU's Shaka Smart.