Earlier this week an Iowa blogger chimed in on Steve Alford's past. Now it's the Lobos' turn. Lobo Lair (from the LoboLair.com) posted this in our comment threads; we invited him to share this in our fanpost so we can feature it just as prominently. GO BRUINS. - BN Eds.
I hope my post offers a little perspective. I have no reason to stick up for coach Alford anymore. He left New Mexico is now UCLA Bruin. However, I feel like a lot of this stuff being posted isn't fair nor is it true. I can't speak for anything in Iowa but I can speak for the last six years at UNM.
When UNM hired Steve Alford six years ago we had to deal with trolls from other sites speaking badly of our coach. New Mexico fans all defended him till the end.
The hatred from some Hawkeye fans still sickens me to this day and still wait for his demise. Steve left them for a better job and they still haven't come to grips with that. Yes, New Mexico is a better job than Iowa.
B10 is the best conference but UNM is a better job that Iowa.
When coach first stepped on campus all I heard was that he was arrogant, self absorbed, etc. The first year I stayed away from him.
In the second year I started attending the elite camps held at UNM and really got up close to see how he interacts with kids.
I still remember when UNM wasnt on national TV and the games were on TheMountain. People in the Midwest weren't able to watch them.
I don't remember how but word got back to Coach Alford that I knew of a site that his parents were able to watch the New Mexico games back in Indiana.
He walked over to me and introduced himself and asked if I would help him. I walked into his office and he called Sam Alford. I spoke with his parents and I helped them set this up. It took like 30 mins. This is my first encounter with him at New Mexico for the next year. He was nothing but nice and thanked me on the way out, shook my hand.
It wasn't for about another two years that I really made an effort to interview him and get to know him. He knows how message boards are and as the owner of TheLoboLair I wondered what his reaction would be. One particular site in Iowa killed him throughout his tenure and Iowa. Yet he didn't judge me and gave me a clean slate.
We had talked and he knew that I was a big Dolphins fan. We joked the week before that my dolphins were going to slap his Steelers. The next week he walked in behind me why my legs were crossed as I was sitting down. He kicked my foot off my leg and asked me how about the Steelers.
I told him "Stealers" alright because the refs missed a huge call and he knew it. He smirked and walked off into practice without listening to what I had to say. I thought to myself, what a jerk and I started to think that maybe he is arrogant. Maybe a lot of these guys are right after all.
In the middle of practice while the players are shooting free throws he walked over and sat next to me and we talked about the game. He joked and about the game and he named all the key plays during the game. After this encounter I realized why everything everyone thinks he's arrogant.
Everyone's wanted a piece of this man since he was 16 years old. From growing up in Indiana as the golden boy and the state treasurer for four years while at Indiana University. Going on to the Olympics and winning gold with Michael Jordan and some of the greatest players to ever play the game.
Does he ego?
Damn right he does!
You cant play at the highest level without being confident in yourself. You can't coach at that level without having an ego. I think what most people don't realize is that this is his defense mechanism from keeping people from getting too close to him who maybe have an angle.
I truly think many people don't see that and mistake him for a jerk, just like I did.
My Niece was killed right out of San Francisco last year while riding her bike home from school. My wife was devastated as was the whole family. One of the first text messages I got was from Coach Alford. He told me and my family to stay strong and pray and that he hoped everything would be okay. He didn't have to do that. Why should he care about some website guy who means nothing to their success. The team was rolling and there wasn't bad press. There was zero agenda on his part. Just wishing my family strength. I will never forget that personally.
Alford is gone now so there's no reason for me to post this. Other than the fact that what I am reading I think is unfair. Too many times the good stuff doesn't get told and the bad stuff is what always gets thrown in front.
I am only one person but I can tell you that I personally have never had one bad experience from coach Alford. I know I pissed him off a few times too about releasing news of a player kicked off the team and some stuff they didn't always show the best light on the program. But I was think he understood that I was doing my job and putting out information.
Good luck UCLA. You got a hell of a coach.
He will motivate and get 110% out of each player. Funny but so many Lobo fans always wondered what Alford could do with a team full of 5 stars. I can't wait to see you guys play. Ill also wait for the day he schedules UNM so we can get our revenge!