Jim Harrick, a former UCLA assistant basketball coach who has been the head coach at Pepperdine for the past nine years, has been named the Bruins' head coach, a school spokesman said today.
Bill Bennett, UCLA's associate sports information director, said Harrick would be introduced as the new head coach at a news conference today at the J.D. Morgan Center on campus.Harrick, who also was an assistant coach at Utah State for four years, succeeds Walt Hazzard, who was fired 13 days ago. Hazzard was UCLA's coach for four years. His teams were 77-47 including 16-14 this past season.
Since Hazzard was dismissed, several big-name coaches were interviewed by UCLA. At least two North Carolina State's Jim Valvano and Kansas' Larry Brown were offered the job but decided against taking it.
Others who reportedly turned the Bruins down were Duke's Mike Krzyzewski and Iowa's Tom Davis.
Harrick, on the other hand, is anything but a big name, but has made it clear on several occasions in the past that he wanted the job very much.