Steve Alford isn’t eyeing a homecoming.
So he says.
The UCLA coach and former Indiana star gave an unequivocal denial to ESPN after his team’s season-ending loss to Kentucky, saying he is not leaving Los Angeles for IU’s open job in Bloomington.
“I am absolutely 100 percent not going to Indiana,” Alford said. “Staying at UCLA. I am happy. Love it here. Have a great class coming in, and brand-new practice facility. Obviously, I love my alma mater. Committed to UCLA. I am not going to talk to Indiana. I am staying a Bruin.”
Speculation that Alford is a prime candidate to replace Tom Crean as IU men’s basketball coach has run rampant during the past week. But after an 86-75 loss to the Wildcats in the Sweet 16, Alford told reporters he has no plans to leave UCLA.
“I said it last week, and I’ll reiterate it again even more so, I guess, that I love Los Angeles,” Alford said. “To begin with, it’s a beautiful place, and our family has fallen in love with it. I’ve got two sons now, Kory first and now Bryce, that have graduated. Bryce is done, so he’s graduating from UCLA, so I’ve got two sons that are graduates from there, a daughter that loves the school she’s going to in Thousand Oaks. I’m very happy. I’m at UCLA. I don’t know of a lot of people that are out there wanting to leave UCLA.
“This is a pretty special place. We’ve worked awfully hard. Our staff has worked hard. We’ve got the No. 2 recruiting class coming in next year. We’re opening a brand-new, state-of-the-art, 60-plus million practice facility, Mo Ostin Center, that is going to be spectacular that we’ve worked awfully hard to be a part of that, and I want to see that through, and we’ve got some special kids that are coming to join us. I’m very, very happy where I’m at, and hopefully that’ll continue.”