OFFICIAL: UCLA Names Mick Cronin New Men’s Head Basketball Coach

UCLA Director of Athletics Dan Guerrero has named Mick Cronin as The Michael Price Family UCLA Men’s Head Basketball Coach. Cronin becomes the 14th head coach in UCLA men’s basketball history, agreeing to a six-year contract worth $24 million.

“Mick Cronin is a fierce competitor, and I’m excited to welcome him to Westwood,” Guerrero said. “Mick has built a fantastic program at Cincinnati, backed by integrity and discipline, and he has instilled an undeniable toughness in his student-athletes. I am confident he will build this program the right way and lead UCLA basketball back to national prominence.”

Cronin will be formally introduced to the UCLA community and to media on campus this Wednesday morning.

“I am incredibly humbled and honored to become the head coach at UCLA,” said Cronin. “I’m especially grateful to Chancellor Block and to Dan Guerrero for this opportunity to join the Bruin Family. UCLA is a very special place with a strong tradition of excellence. To be able to join such a world-class institution is truly a privilege, and I can’t wait to get started in Westwood.”

Cronin has compiled a 365-171 record in 16 seasons as a collegiate head coach. He most recently served as head coach at his alma mater, the University of Cincinnati, for the previous 13 seasons (2006-19). He helped lead the Bearcats’ program on a remarkable turnaround, guiding Cincinnati to the NCAA Tournament each of the past nine seasons.

Cronin has become one of just six coaches in the nation to have led his program to the NCAA Tournament the last nine seasons. Joining him in that group are Mark Few (Gonzaga), Tom Izzo (Michigan State), Mike Krzyzewski (Duke), Bill Self (Kansas) and Roy Williams (North Carolina).

In 2018, Cronin was named Sporting News National Coach of the Year and was also a semifinalist for the 2018 Naismith Trophy National Coach of the Year award. He secured American Athletic Conference Coach of the Year acclaim in 2014 in addition to being named the NABC’s District 25 Coach of the Year. He currently leads the country for most NCAA Division I victories (365) among active coaches under the age of 50.

A native of Cincinnati, Cronin helped bring about a rebirth of the Bearcats’ program, built upon toughness, tenacious defense and a continued, all-out effort. 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.

“At UCLA, we expect our coaches to inspire student-athletes to strive for the very best in everything they do – during a game, in the classroom and out in the community,” said UCLA Chancellor Gene Block. “I have great hopes for Mick Cronin and am confident he understands our values of academic and athletic excellence, recognizing the very high bar set by Coach John Wooden.”

“Throughout what was a thorough and exhaustive search, those of us on the committee repeatedly discussed and emphasized the importance of bringing in a coach who really wants to be here,” said Bob Myers, Bruin basketball alumnus and Golden State Warriors President of Basketball Operations/General Manager. “As a former player who knows firsthand how special it is to wear the four letters – UCLA – I am excited that we got a coach in Mick who wants to be a part of this historic program. I’m grateful to Dan Guerrero for allowing me this opportunity.”

Cronin graduated in 1997 from the University of Cincinnati with his bachelor’s degree in history. He started his coaching career as an assistant varsity coach and head junior varsity coach at Woodward High School while he was completing his undergraduate work. Prior to becoming the head coach at Murray State in 2003, Cronin served as a video coordinator and assistant coach at Cincinnati and as the associate head coach at Louisville.

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