Nevada hires former UCLA coach Steve Alford, gives him 10-year deal to succeed Eric Musselman

Former UCLA coach Steve Alford has been signed to a 10-year deal to become the next coach at Nevada, the school announced on Thursday. 

Alford was fired 13 games into his sixth season in Westwood after the Bruins started with a 7-6 record that included a four-game losing streak and home losses to Belmont and Liberty. He will succeed Eric Musselman, who left Reno last week to take the same position at Arkansas.

Alford be introduced Friday afternoon at 11 a.m. ET.

"There is no better coach than Steve Alford to continue the rise of Nevada basketball and we are excited for the next chapter," Nevada athletic director Doug Knuth said in a statement released by the school. "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 recruited at a high level at UCLA with top-25 recruiting classes in each year and three top-10 classes overall, including top-six classes in his final two years. But his demise with the Bruins was expedited by his lack of postseason success. He missed the NCAA Tournament just once (twice including his shortened final season), but only thrice advanced to the second weekend of the tournament and never made the Elite Eight.

"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."

At Nevada, expectations for Alford will be tempered compared to UCLA. Though the Wolf Pack made the NCAA Tournament in each of Musselman's final three seasons and posted consecutive 29-win seasons before he left, the program is expected to experience a talent exodus. As a result, Alford could be undertaking a minor rebuild, though Nevada has recruited at a high enough level to compete at the highest level in the MWC.

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