Having read Mark Smith’s broadside, “Alford Cashes In on a So-So Schedule,” it occurs to me a diligent reporter would share with his readers some basic facts that speak to the totality of Steve Alford’s tenure at UNM.
Steve Alford (above) has been our men’s basketball coach for four years. When compared to the first four years compiled by any former UNM basketball coach, Alford teams have recorded the most wins, most conference titles, the highest winning percentage and the best road-win percentage in the program’s history. The 11 non-conference wins during Coach Alford’s time here equals the total non-conference wins of the previous 14 years.
Alford’s athletes have also performed academically, recording the highest Academic Progress Rate (APR) in the school’s history and a consistently high GPA of 2.7 and above for the past seven semesters.
The reporter’s limited perspective also fails to speak of the overall contribution Steve Alford has made to UNM, its basketball program and the community. He’s helped Special Olympics New Mexico raise more than a quarter million dollars. In his four years here, Coach Alford has rekindled Lobo Pride in its premiere sport. He has brought honor and national attention to our university. He is an individual to celebrate, not denigrate.
David J. Schmidly
The article that provoked Schmidly’s letter to the editor, Mark J. Smith’s “Alford Cashes In on a So-So Schedule”, revealed that Alford received a $10,000 bonus (one of 5 such payments last year) for strength of schedule, despite the Lobos’ schedule ranking 284th out of 345 Division I teams. Lest we believe Alford is a poor educator, he received a $10K bonus for the team grade point average hitting 2.7, though the school’s AD, Paul Krebs reminds Smith a payment for reaching a 50% graduation rate is “under review”.