Source: Butler's Stevens says no to UCLA job
MAR 29, 2013 10:45a ET
UCLA will not have Brad Stevens as a its basketball coach, according to a person familiar with the situation who was not authorized to speak on the matter.
Stevens will remain at Butler, where he has led the Bulldogs to two appearances in the national championship game since 2010. ESPN first reported the story.
UCLA athletic director Dan Guerrero had focused his attention on Stevens this week after Virginia Commonwealth’s Shaka Smart removed himself from the board by agreeing to a contract extension.
Stevens, who was Guerrero’s first choice, offered “No comment” when asked about UCLA’s interest by a reporter from the Indianapolis Star.
"I'm the coach at Butler," Stevens wrote in a text message to ESPN.com. "As you know, my stance is to not comment on any other speculation or situation."
Stevens also wrote a cryptic tweet on Friday discussing Butler's spring workouts.
Love walking thru Hinkle in the morning... Anxious to get started on our spring workouts next week.— Brad Stevens (@BUCoachStevens) March 29, 2013
So where does that leave UCLA's coaching search? Square One, with the hope that Louisville's Rick Pitino or Florida’s Billy Donovan will be interested once their teams are done in the NCAA tournament.
If the Pitino-Donovan scenario, considered unlikely, fails to materialize, Guerrero could have a public relations problem.
There are still viable candidates, one close to home. Wichita State’s Gregg Marshall has the Shockers in the West Regional final. Marshall may be intrigued by the job, but whether he is equally intrigued by the Los Angeles area beyond this weekend remains to be seen.
Marshall’s name has surfaced with UCLA officials, the person who is close to the department said.
Guerrero could also consider a former NBA coach, something that was said to be part of the game plan going in.
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who won three NCAA titles with UCLA and six NBA titles with the Milwaukee Bucks and Los Angeles Lakers, said on Wednesday he wants to be considered for the job.
"Like all Bruin supporters, the recent trend at our school hasn't made me happy," he said. The players don't seem to be learning how to play, and haven't been graduating.
"We can do better."
Abdul-Jabbar said he reached out to Guerrero, adding that he's hopeful to "get a chance to make my case."
— Chris Foster