Steve Alford is in First Place – and Screaming at Midcourt

Steve Alford and assistant coach Craig Neal, apparently unhappy about something in New Mexicos NIT loss at California last March

Steve Alford and assistant coach Craig Neal, apparently unhappy about something in New Mexico's NIT loss at California last March

They take college basketball seriously at New Mexico and Utah.

New Mexico Coach Steve Alford, a person with whom Iowa Hawkeyes fans are familiar, had a little to-do with Utah Coach Jim Boylen Tuesday night in Albuquerque.

From the Salt Lake Tribune:

New Mexico’s Steve Alford had to be restrained by his assistant coaches, screaming as furiously at midcourt as he was at Utah’s Jim Boylen. Boylen, meanwhile, shouted back, and gestured menacingly with his finger for Alford to come over to his side of the floor.

“He’s competitive, I’m competitive,” Alford agreed. “We’re all trying to win a league championship. I think he’s out on the floor; he thinks I’m out on the floor. He thinks I’m nuts; I think he’s nuts. That’s just being competitive. It’s all part of the game, and it’s all fun. His staff’s holding him back, and my staff’s holding me back, so it all turned out well.”

On the same night Iowa was going down to its 13th Big Ten loss in 17 games with some of the remnants of what Alford left behind in Iowa City, his Lobos beat Utah 77-71 to tie the Utes for first place in the Mountain West Conference at 11-4.

Both teams have one MWC games left, and Brigham Young, 10-4, is also in the title mix.


7 responses to “Steve Alford is in First Place – and Screaming at Midcourt

  1. Who gives a crap about hair? He helped put Iowa hoops in their current predicament and left to coach in a marginal conference, which is a good place for a marginal coach.

  2. Wait, since when does Steve Alford actually show emotion and care about what’s going on during the game? We’re sure this is the same guy?

  3. Jimmy Chitwood

    44 wins in two seasons with “some of the remnants” of a below .500 team the season prior to his arrival. The only people in the college basketball world that think Steve Alford can’t coach reside in Iowa. I’ll never say he was a great fit for Iowa, but that is hardly his fault. Coach Lickliter is now saying the exact same things regarding the University’s committment to basketball that Steve Alford said from the day he walked onto the campus.

    Did anyone watch New Mexico’s win over Utah last night? You talk about an unbelievable crowd! There were times that the telecasters were drowned out by the noise. And go to New Mexico’s website and check out their facilities. Far superior to what the University of Iowa offers their basketball coaches.

    It’s too bad that Alford was not a good fit for the University of Iowa he showed what he could do at Iowa in flashes, but he has found that fit in Albuquerque. Good for him!

    It really makes Iowa fans look small to still be taking potshots at Alford. Iowa’s basketball program has its hands full in its current state. Lets concentrate on that.

  4. He is obviously a very good mid-major coach, but the fact remains that he was a complete failure at Iowa. He was brought in with the idea that he was going to take the program (which, under Tom Davis, was consistently very successful, making it to at least the second round of the NCAA tournament most years) to the next level. Instead it was an endless string of underachieving teams that consistently fell apart in Big Ten play. By the end, he had completely run the program into the ground, and ran off to New Mexico before he could face the consequences of doing so. The current product is very much his doing. Aside from Cyrus Tate (who showed remarkable improvement under Lickliter), none of the real contributers on the team are players from the Alford-era. And in the fact that he was an arrogant ass for most of his tenure in Iowa City, and it’s not hard to see why Iowa fans might be bitter.

  5. I would argue that we have no proof that Alford is a good coach at any level without assistant Craig Neil. Alfords results at Southwest Missouri were less than outstanding. His record pails in comparison to the previous SWMS coach Charlie Spoonhour. Once Neil was hired at Iowa the team showed progress as Neil called plays and coached players from the sideline. Recruiting of marginaly qualified players who were not academically eligible contributed significantly to the lack of team improvement. As an example in one season 5 of 6 recruits didn’t get into school. (It is the job of a head coach to insure that they are recriuting qualified students isn’t it)? Why are Iowans continually belittled for their bitterness toward Alford? Alford was paid a competitive salary and under his watch the team moved from the upper middle to the bottom of the Big 10. Is that somehow the fault of the fan base? Face it, as much as it might hurt the feelings of his Indiana and NM fans Alford couldn’t cut it in the NBA and he is not a good coach. If I were a D1 athletic director looking for a good coach I’d be tagging Craig Neil. He appeared to be driving while Alford was asleep at the wheel in Iowa.

  6. In addition, Alford absolutely destroyed fan interest in the team. During the Tom Davis years, and the start of Alford’s time, Carver was always sold out and Iowa was among the nation’s leaders in attendance almost every year. By the time Alford was done, the place was practically deserted most nights, and it hasn’t really recovered since. He loved to complain about how Iowa was “a football school” but that wasn’t the case before he showed up.

  7. Jimmy Chitwood

    Adam, do you remember the attendance the night Dr. Tom led Iowa against Georgia in the NIT @ Carver?

    5,000 announced, but in reality, it was closer to 500 than 5,000. That night, in my opinion, led Bowlsby to make the decision he did. Hawkeye fans were fed up with the Dr. Tom Era.

    It amazes me how much more fondly the Dr. Tom Era gets looked as more time passes.

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