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Mick Cronin: More than just a basketball coach

The UCLA Basketball team raised their near-brink APR score by 12 whole points in Coach Cronin’s first full season

Arizona v UCLA Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images

In case you didn’t already know, Mick Cronin is the man.

Taking over for Steve Alford in April of last year, Cronin not only led the UCLA Bruins to an incredible one-year turnaround on the hard court, he also led them to a turnaround in the classroom. Cronin’s Bruins men’s basketball team raised their Academic Progress Rate from 933 to 945, much safer, much higher than the 930 cut-off mark that would incur penalties.

Sure, though, these numbers roll over from year to year, including a four-year rolling average, but also included Cronin’s first spring semester and the full summer’s worth of classes that he was the active head coach.

It still speaks volumes to the direction the program is heading with Cronin as the man in charge. Not only was this a team that NO ONE wanted to face in the Pac-12 Tournament nor in the NCAA Tournament, this is now a team that is clearly hitting the books and applying the safe sort of effort to turn a near-brink school grade into a much, much more pleasant picture.

The APR was established by the NCAA in an attempt to monitor athletic programs, keeping them accountable on the academics side. It’s score is derived by the academic standing of each athlete on scholarship. Each athlete who stays in school and each athlete who remains academically eligible earns one point and a team’s total points are divided by points possible and multiplied by 1,000.

A fancy way of saying: Keep it above 930!

Also, the football program improved their one-year score this past season as well, but their four-year rolling average fell. This, of course, is always going to be hurt for the next three years by the abysmal 881 from the 2017-18 season after they reached 942 this past year.

UCLA’s men’s basketball program reached 981 this past academic year and is a huge credit to the players, teachers and staff, notably, of course, Cronin, who took over in April after Alford finished his UCLA time as the second coach to never win a conference regular-season title.

Rejoice in the fact that our Bruins increased their APR. Rejoice in the fact that Mick is our guy.