In his introductory press conference, Mick Cronin was formally introduced as the next head of the UCLA basketball program.
Mick Cronin, the next head coach of the UCLA basketball program, is here and he has already made an impact with the Bruin faithful. On Wednesday morning, he was officially introduced as the 14th head coach of the Bruins and is already proving to be a shining light as he displayed confidence, excitement, and determination in trying to return the Bruins to glory.
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The press conference started with athletic director Dan Guerrero giving a break down of the search. For the most part, it seemed like a chance for the AD to clear the air about the missteps in the hunt for the next leader of UCLA basketball. Guerrero then transitioned to a formal introduction and praise for the new coach, “We wanted a coach that could build programs. We wanted a basketball coach that wanted to be here.”
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Though he was the fourth coach to be offered the position, Guerrero insisted, “Mick was on our radar from the beginning.”
Cronin then had his chance to speak, but immediately left his mark with his first few words. As Guerrero was presenting a UCLA jersey to Cronin which displayed his name and the number “1” on the back, Cronin asked to turn it around. “The four letters are more important than my name.”
Cronin looked legitimately thrilled to be there. He was as giddy as a schoolboy and could not stop smiling as every word escaped his mouth. After describing what it was like to go through this process, he talked about how this was important of a job this was and how he is thrilled to be following in the footsteps of John Wooden.
After his speech, he then answered questions from the media.
When asked how he will construct his staff, Cronin quickly addressed this significant issue, “We got to have west coast flavor on our staff. There are guys I know that are coaching in the Pac-12 and there are guys coaching in high school. We got to have the best.” Cronin is expected to fill his staff in the coming weeks.
When asked about retaining assistant coach Tyus Edney, Cronin said that he only met him an hour before the press conference and that he is “considering everybody.”
One thing that has concerned Bruins fans is how he will recruit on the west coast. Being in Cincinnati for the last 13 seasons, it was assumed that he might not have a lot of ties in the west. Cronin quickly put that theory to bed when he said he knows the west coast and is familiar with many coaches out here. But ultimately, he said it won’t be too hard as UCLA recruits itself, but he did not let that be a sticking point. Cronin said he wants to recruit a certain type of player, “You got to come because you want to help UCLA win.”
Cronin said everything that needed to be said, but the one thing that stood out and showed his dedication was when he stated, “I’m here to win national championships.”
Welcome to Westwood, Coach Cronin!