Wednesday, 23 October, 2019

UCLA hires Cincinnati’s Mick Cronin as basketball coach

Mick Cronin departure surprises UC with extension talks progressing Mick Cronin departure surprises UC with extension talks progressing
Shannon Reynolds | 12 April, 2019, 08:16

Cronin was reportedly UCLA's third choice, after failing to come to terms with Tennesee coach Rick Barnes and Texas Christian's Jamie Dixon.

"I am incredibly humbled and honored to become the head coach at UCLA", Cronin said.

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

The Bruins' deal with Cronin comes one day after Tennessee's Rick Barnes turned down the Bruins' reported five-year, $25 million offer, instead electing to return to the Volunteers. "I am confident he will build this program the right way and lead UCLA basketball back to national prominence". Cronin's teams at Cincinnati rank as one of just two in the nation (along with Virginia) to be listed among the nation's top 25 in scoring defense each of the past seven seasons. "To be able to join such a world-class institution is truly a privilege, and I can't wait to get started in Westwood".

Cincinnati Bearcats head coach Mick Cronin reacts to a play in the first half against the Iowa Hawkeyes in the first round of the 2019 NCAA Tournament at Nationwide Arena.

Cronin hopes to resurrect a program that has not been to a Final Four since 2008. He spent three years at Murray State and then the last 13 seasons at Cincinnati.

Cronin graduated in 1997 from the University of Cincinnati with his bachelor's degree in history.

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Cronin built a reputation as a recruiter who could identify and lure top talent to Cincinnati, including future National Basketball Association players like Lance Stephenson of the LA Lakers.

Stay tuned for an official announcement from UCLA regarding its head coaching hire.

Cronin inherits a Bruins team coming off a 17-16 record. Today, Mick Cronin is the new head coach.

This season, he guided the Bearcats to a 28-7 record.

Cronin, 47, has been at Cincinnati since 2006 and has led the Bearcats to nine NCAA Tournament berths and the Sweet 16 in 2011-12.

John Calipari famously had "interest" in UCLA, only to return to Kentucky on a lifetime deal.

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