From 2003 to 2012, UCLA won four PAC-10/12 conference titles and went to the Final Four three straight times under Ben Howland.
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Former UCLA men’s basketball head coach Ben Howland has accepted the job as the coach of the Mississippi State Bulldogs.
According to ESPN.com writer Jeff Goodman, multiple sources confirmed that Howland will be officially confirmed as the Bulldogs’ head coach later this week. Howland has spent the last two seasons as a basketball analyst since being fired by the UCLA Bruins two years ago.
Howland helped make the UCLA Bruins a powerhouse for nearly a decade when he took over for the team in 2003. After missing the NCAA Tournament in his first year with the team, the Bruins would make five straight NCAA appearances and in the 2006 tournament made it to the National Championship Game, losing to Florida 73-57. In the two following seasons the Bruins would make it to the Final Four twice.
The Bulldogs recently fired head coach Rick Ray after the team went 13-19 in 2014-15 and just 37-60 during Ray’s tenure with the team.
Among the accolades Howland has received are the Naismith Coach of the Year award in 2002, Big Sky coach of the year (during his tenure with the Northern Arizona Lumberjacks), Big East Coach of the Year (2002) and PAC-10 Coach of the Year (2006). He also has the distinction of being the man who coached NBA All-Stars Russell Westbrook and Kevin Love.
Howland’s 233 wins with the UCLA Bruins is second in school history behind legendary coach John Wooden.