UCLA officially fires Ben Howland, one day after denying reports

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UCLA has fired coach Ben Howland after 10 seasons with the team.(Scott Halleran/Getty Images)

UCLA coach Ben Howland apologized for commenting on freshman star Shabazz Muhammad's draft status. (Scott Halleran/Getty Images)

UCLA has fired men's basketball coach Ben Howland, the program said in a statement on Sunday. The official news comes about 24 hours after the school denied a Yahoo! Sports report on Saturday that he was fired.

"I want to thank Ben for all that he has done for UCLA in his 10 seasons in Westwood," UCLA Athletic Director Dan Guerrero said in the statement. "He embraced our tradition and culture and produced some terrific teams and coached a number of wonderful young men. We wish Ben and his family all the best as they move onto a new chapter in their lives."

Howland was 230–105 in 10 seasons at UCLA with three straight Final Foul appearances from 2006-2008. In 19 seasons as a coach at Northern Arizona, Pittsburgh, and UCLA, Howland has compiled a record of 398-205.

After UCLA's 83-63 loss to Minnesota in the second round of the NCAA tournament, Howland refused to comment on his job security. He said in a statement released by the school that he looks forward to "what comes next."

"I have been blessed with the opportunity to coach at UCLA for 10 years and I will always be grateful to Dan Guerrero and Chancellors Block, Abrams and Carnesale for the opportunity to coach and teach our players and work alongside tremendous coaches," Howland said. "The UCLA community and fans have been unbelievable to my family and I, and it's been an honor and privilege to represent this great institution. I look forward to what comes next."