The UCLA basketball team was close to hiring a coach (again), but after a lengthy decision, Rick Barnes has decided to stay at Tenessee meaning the UCLA search continues.
John Calipari was close to becoming the next UCLA basketball coach and then he wasn’t. Jamie Dixon was close to becoming the next UCLA basketball coach and then he wasn’t. Rick Barnes was… well, you get it.
It has been almost 100 days since UCLA basketball had a legitimate head coach and after weeks of hiring attempts, the Bruins are no closer to having one. This coming off the heels of Rick Barnes spurning the Bruins to stay at Tennessee.
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UCLA was offering Barnes $5 million a year (more than he made at Tennessee) to coach their storied program, but chose to stay in Knoxville and has now signed a new deal with the Volunteers.
UCLA has now missed on three big coaches and has to look in a new direction. Again. It is a roller coaster ride that Bruins fans cannot wait to come to an end, but the way this search has been going, there is no end in sight.
So now where do they turn? Do they look at Lon Kruger from Oklahoma who was said to be linked to the search along with Barnes? Do they go after a Cincinnati’s Mick Cronin (a name that arose with Dixon)? Do they go in a completely new direction?
The longer this drags out, it seems that damage is slowly being done. Though the Bruins can salvage this coaching hire, the situation they put themselves in is not a good look.
Despite being the laughing stock of college sports in the last few weeks (an NHL mascot mocked the search on Twitter, that shows you how much of a debacle this search has become), UCLA is still without a coach and the list is getting shorter at an alarming rate.
This search was supposed to be less of an issue than the last one which brought Steve Alford to Westwood, but it is slowly becoming a lot worse. Though UCLA could still hire a good coach, they are most likely not going to get a great coach, which was the point of this new hire. Only at UCLA.