UCLA has fired head basketball coach Steve Alford, the school announced Monday.
Assistant Coach Murry Bartow, who has served as a head coach at previous institutions, will serve as interim head coach through the end of the season.
"Throughout my career as an athletic director, I have maintained a belief that making a head coaching change during a season is rarely in the best interests of our student-athletes or program," UCLA athletic director Dan Guerrero. "In this case, however, it is now clear to me that what is best for our current students and for the overall good of the program, is to make this change now. While Steve led us to three Sweet 16 appearances, we simply have not been performing at a consistent level and our struggles up to this point in the season do not bode well for the future. On behalf of UCLA Athletics, I want to thank Steve, Tanya and the entire Alford family for their commitment to UCLA and wish them all of the best in the future."
The news was first reported by The Athletic.
Alford, 54, was in his sixth season at the school and his firing comes days after the Bruins were blown out 73–58 at home by Liberty. UCLA had 24 turnovers and made only six of its 22 3-point shots in the loss.
The loss was the Bruins' fourth straight loss and dropped their record to 7–6. UCLA starts Pac–12 play on Thursday against Stanford.
Alford had a 124–63 record, winning one Pac–12 tournament title and making four NCAA tournament appearances.
Several coaches have been mentioned to fill the vacant position at UCLA, according to Stadium's Jeff Goodman. The list includes former Chicago Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg, former NBA coach and UCLA alum Earl Watson, Arizona State's Bobby Hurley, Virginia's Tony Bennett and Notre Dame's Mike Brey, reports Goodman.