NORTH MANCHESTER – UCLA Bruins Coach Steve Alford will return next month to the Indiana school where his coaching career began to receive the Manchester University Distinguished Honor Award.
“When Steve Alford began his coaching career at Manchester University more than 20 years ago, he was a living legend in this basketball-obsessed state,” said Tim McElwee, Manchester vice president for Advancement. “He assumed responsibility in 1992 for a basketball program that had managed only two winning records in the previous 30 seasons. After his 1995 season Manchester men’s basketball has never been the same.
“As the NCAA Division III national runner-up the 1995 team ended the season with only one loss, and winning records became part of the Manchester tradition. Although Coach Alford has accepted even more ambitious challenges since that time, his legacy is alive and well at Manchester.”
The former Indiana University basketball standout, Mr. Indiana and Olympic gold medalist got his coaching start in the early 1990s at the school in North Manchester, taking over a Spartan team with a 0-8 start and ending that season with marks in the plus column before launching a three-year winning streak that ended in a 31-1 season and a trip to the 1994-95 national NCAA Division III championship game.
Alford will speak about the lessons of his basketball career during a speech at 9 a.m. Sept. 13 in Cordier Auditorium at the North Manchester campus. He will also answer questions as submitted by students. He will receive his award in a ceremony during the session, which is free and open to the public.
During an 11 a.m. luncheon at the Jo Young Switzer Center, he will assist in the special induction of Kyle Hupfer and Brad Knoy, members of the Division III National Runner-up team, into the Manchester University Athletic Hall of Fame. Alford was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2000.
The three will be honored during halftime of the football game against Buffalo State. The game begins at noon.
The MU Alumni Association began presenting its Honor Award in 1960. Persons can be selected for personal accomplishments that enhance the prestige of the University, and distinguished service or accomplishments in any field of human endeavor, be it in the family, community, in business, industry, science, or a profession.