Recently UCLA athletic director Dan Guerrero made a great move, giving basketball coach Ben Howland a seven-year extension.
If there was ever a coach in America to deserve that extension, it is Howland. He has really rejuvenated the Bruins program, putting it in the position to be a contender for the national championship year in and year out. My friends, that is all you can do, put a team in the hunt for greatness.
You can't guarantee those national titles, like the seven in a row and 10 in 12 seasons under the Wizard of Westwood, John Wooden. Parity in the sport makes it so tough to win just one. It just takes one bad night and the party is over and the 65-team field is tougher every year.
Howland's squads play intelligently and do a great job on the defensive end. UCLA is also bringing in the big-time recruits, like Kevin Love. Next season, Howland has a dynamite diaper dandy class in place, arguably among the premier classes in the nation.
Things are going in a big-time way at Pauley Pavilion. The main reason for the revival is Mr. Ben Howland. The athletic director recognized his importance, and the same way athletic director Jeremy Foley down at Florida took care of his coach, Billy Donovan, Guerrero did the right thing. These guys know how vital leadership is to a program.
Once again, UCLA is in the upper echelon in college basketball. Two straight journeys to the Final Four, a nice run, though this school is all about the final prize and adding another banner in the rafters at Pauley. They are similar to what the Yankees are about, wanting to win that world title.
Howland understands the lofty goal. Guerrero decided the Howland is the guy to lead the Bruins in that pursuit for many years to come. The coach continues to show great direction in building a winner and legitimate contender.