Steve Alford told his players Thursday he is leaving Iowa to take over the coaching position at New Mexico. And today Alford was introduced as the new head coach of the Lobos.
Just about an hour later, Iowa Athletic Director Gary Barta talked about Alford leaving. Barta thanked Alford for the things he did for the Hawkeye program and says it was a good eight year run. Barta says he believes Alford is a "good coach and a good person" and he wishes him well. Barta says he had a good relationship with Alford and talked with the coach every week.
Barta says he talked with Alford about what would happen once the New Mexico job came up, and says he is not willing to share exactly what was said. Barta says Alford is the best one to talk with about his reasons for leaving. Barta says he can only speculate about some of the things that may’ve led Alford take another job.
Barta say any coach that has been somewhere for eight years probably has had several public relations issues to deal with, and Barta says there’s no manual for dealing with those things. Barta says he doesn’t know if there is any one thing that made Alford leave.
Barta says he will begin a national search for Alford’s replacement, and believes Iowa will draw a top coach. He says they have the opportunity with the resources available, the fan support, to go out and get a "great coach" and that’s what he intends to do. Barta says he will lead the search committee and will look for a coach who has head coaching experience, but is not limiting himself to someone who has ties to Iowa. He also isn’t setting a deadline for finding a new coach.
Barta says it’s and important decision and he is going to move swiftly, "But more importantly I’m gonna to get it right. So I’m not going to say were gonna get it done by this date," Barta says. He says they want to find the person who is the best fit for Iowa. Barta says he is always looking for talented people he thinks might be a good fit for all Iowa sports, and he will use that list to get started.
Alford had a 152-and-106 record in eight seasons with the Hawkeyes. Iowa won two Big Ten tournament titles under Alford. They also made it to three NCAA tournaments, but only had one win in the NCAA Tournament. Iowa lost in the first round of the Big Ten Tournament this season and ended up with a record of 17-14, not good enough to get a bid to either the NCAA or NIT postseason tournament.