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Howland to the press in April, Athletic Director Dan Guerrero ’74
said it was “a very proud moment” for UCLA. “We
got our man,” Guerrero said. “I looked for someone with
integrity, someone who can achieve on the court at a very high level.
Ben stresses fundamentals of discipline and believes in defense
and rebounding. His teams play with chemistry and intensity. We
expect big things from Ben, no more than what Ben expects of himself.”
Howland: “I understand what a privilege it is to be the basketball
coach here at UCLA. To work for and represent UCLA, one of the most
outstanding institutions of higher learning and research, is a dream
come true that started for me as a kid.”
grew up watching UCLA basketball on TV in the late ’60s
and early ’70s. Lew Alcindor, Bill Walton, Keith Wilkes —
those were the players he decided he wanted to emulate on the court.
remember wishing I could be a Bruin,” he says. At age 8, he
started playing basketball every day in the summer at the Boys Club
in Goleta, Calif. During Howland’s sophomore year in high
school, his father became the minister of a church in Norwalk and
the family made plans to relocate to nearby Cerritos. So eager was
Howland to play for the Cerritos High School basketball team that
he moved south two months before his family did so he wouldn’t
miss the start of the season.
sort of enthusiasm and dogged persistence proved useful when Howland
went on to college, playing guard at Santa Barbara City College
and at Weber State University in Ogden, Utah. Weber State went to
the NCAA tournament in 1978 and 1979, and Howland was named the
team’s Most Valuable Defensive Player both years. He received
his physical education degree in 1980 and played professionally
in South America for a year.