Bumped. GO BRUINS. -N
Today is April 3, 2008.
It is a great day in Bruin history.
Five years ago today, UCLA Athletic Director Dan Guerrero introduced Ben Howland, head basketball coach at the University of Pittsburgh as the new head coach of the UCLA Bruins.
Howland replaced Steve Lavin, who Guerrero dismissed at the end of the 2002-03 season.
Howland, a Southern California native, grew up a fan of UCLA basketball and an admirer of legendary head coach John Wooden. For the new head coach, the UCLA job was a dream come true (emphasis ours):"Ben Howland is an outstanding basketball coach, one of the best in the entire country, and he is the man we want to run our program," said Guerrero. "He has built winning programs throughout his career and we expect that he will return UCLA basketball to the nation's elite.
"Ben understands that championships are built on defense, intensity, teamwork and fundamentals and those elements are the foundation of his philosophy. His teams come to play every night and they do an outstanding job on both ends of the floor.
"We are excited about bringing Ben back to the West Coast and we are excited about the future of Bruin basketball," Guerrero concluded.
"I am honored to be the head basketball coach at UCLA and I am grateful to Dan for giving me this opportunity," said Howland, the consensus National Coach of the Year in 2002. "Having grown up in southern California as a Bruin fan, watching the televised replays of the games was special for me. To now be the head coach of this program is something I dreamed about but never thought possible.
"I have an appreciation for what these four letters mean in the world of college basketball. We should be competing for the Pacific-10 title and a high seed in the NCAA Tournament year-in and year out and I look forward to that challenge.Since his hiring, Howland completely transformed the team, building on the historic traditions while at the same time putting his own mark on the program.
His record at UCLA speaks for itself:
Three consecutive Pacific 10 titles. Three straight trips to the Final Four (with more games to play this season). Three straight seasons of 30 or more wins.
There's more: UCLA now enjoys a national reputation as one of the best defensive teams in the nation, if not the best defensive team in the nation. The team's academic performance is strong. Most importantly, UCLA basketball is again recognized as one of the elite basketball programs in the country.
UPDATE: Also on this day in UCLA history (as pointed out in the comments by uclachuy below:
The UCLA Bruins defeated the Arkansas Razorbacks 89-78, earning the school its record 11th National Championship.
Thia has been ... this day in UCLA basketball history.