Published: Fri, April 12, 2019
Sport | By Kayla Schwartz

After winding search, UCLA hires Cincinnati's Mick Cronin as head coach

After winding search, UCLA hires Cincinnati's Mick Cronin as head coach

The once proud UCLA Bruins hired Mick Cronin Tuesday as their 14 head coach in program history. Cronin agreed to a 6 year, $24 million contract that the Bruins will soon regret.

"Mick Cronin is a fierce competitor, and I'm excited to welcome him to Westwood", AD Dan Guerrero said.

The Bruins have hired Cincinnati's Mick Cronin to lead their program, the school announced Tuesday. Donovan led the Florida Gators to two national championships during his 19 years with the program.

Cronin was a name constantly brought up in the search, and with buzz of Barnes leaving the Vols for Westwood dying on Sunday, the search shifted back to Cronin, who will be officially introduced on Wednesday.

UCLA Athletic Director Dan Guerrero had high praises for the new Bruins head coach.

"UCLA is a very special place with a strong tradition of excellence", he said in the statement.

Tuesday's announcement came as a surprise to almost everyone in the University of Cincinnati athletic department, including the basketball staff and players. The program dismissed coach Steve Alford after parts of six seasons, promoting Murry Bartow, son of John Wooden successor Gene Bartow, to interim head coaching duties.

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Cincinnati has made nine consecutive appearances in the NCAA tournament during Cronin's 13 seasons with the program, advancing as far as a regional semifinal in 2012.

UCLA has not advanced past the Sweet 16 since 2008.

Cincinnati posted a 28-7 record in 2018, before losing to Iowa in the first round of the tournament.

Among the coaches pursued by UCLA were Kentucky's John Calipari, Virginia's Tony Bennett, TCU's Jamie Dixon and Tennessee's Rick Barnes.

Cronin has a reputation as a tough, hard-nosed coach and will look to rebuild the Bruins after a 17-16 campaign and drawn-out, public coaching search.

Cronin signed a seven-year contract extension with the Bearcats in 2014, paying him $2.2 million annually.

Cronin coached three seasons with Murray State before taking the Cincinnati job, posting a.742 winning percentage with the Racers.

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