Mick Cronin leaves Cincinnati basketball for UCLA

Mick Cronin is the new coach of UCLA basketball.

Cronin, a Cincinnati native, was the coach at the University of Cincinnati for the past 13 seasons.

He compiled a 296-146 record at UC, where he won two regular season American Athletic Conference titles and two AAC tournament championships.

Cronin, who also graduated from UC, led the Bearcats to the NCAA Tournament the last nine seasons, though they advanced past the first weekend only once (2012).

He received a six-year, $24 million contract to coach the Bruins, who had been without a permanent coach since firing Steve Alford in December.

>>RELATED: Cincinnati recruit Samari Curtis of Xenia named Ohio’s Mr. Basketball 

"I am incredibly humbled and honored to become the head coach at UCLA," Cronin said in a press release announcing his hiring. "I'm especially grateful to Chancellor (Gene) Block and to (director of athletics) Dan Guerrero for this opportunity to join the Bruin family.”

UCLA reportedly struck out with multiple candidates before settling on Cronin, though the LaSalle High School product had been identified as a candidate earlier as well.

“UCLA is a very special place with a strong tradition of excellence,” Cronin said. “To be able to join such a world-class institution is truly a privilege, and I can't wait to get started in Westwood."

Xenia senior guard Samari Curtis, who was named Ohio’s Mr. Basketball last month, is a Cincinnati signee.

He committed to Xavier during his junior season but re-opened his recruitment after the Musketeers lost coach Chris Mack to Louisville a year ago.

He later picked the Bearcats and last fall signed a letter of intent to wear the Red and Black.

“UC is a great school for me,” he said in March. “They just fit me. I’m a tough player. I play with my emotions. I play with my heart out every time and that’s the school that fits me perfectly. The coach is me. Me and him can relate on a lot of things. That’s why picked the school.”

The Bearcats are set to open next season against Ohio State in Columbus.

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