University of Cincinnati head coach Mick Cronin holds up the net after the Bearcats beat Houston 56-55 at the Amway Center in Orlando, Fla. On Sunday, March 11, 2018.
After 13 seasons in which the University of Cincinnati men’s basketball hit a record of 296 to 147, head coach Mick Cronin grabbed his talents to travel to Los Angeles. Since arriving at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) in 2019, Cronin has led the Bruins to a two-season record of 41-22, finishing fourth and second at the Pac-12 conference.
UCLA ranked seventh in their conference the year before Cronin’s arrival, which he quickly turned around with his acquired taste in coaching. Was it a culture change that helped Cronin turn this around? Recruitment class? Blue blood beginner’s luck?
It should come as no surprise that Cronin met the warm Los Angeles weather while running. He brought 13 seasons of his UC coaching style with him. After Cronins Bruins were underestimated as number 11 in the COVID-19-NCAA March Madness Tournament of 2021, they impressively disrupted their way to the Final Four, where they lost in overtime to a summer beater.
After leaving just before the championship game, Cronin said, “We won” when UCLA lost to Gonzaga University.
Cronin’s father Hep, who has seen more TV time than Mick this season, summed up his son’s all-too-typical move: “If you try to win him and extend your career, you will win.” it from Cincinnati or will you win from UCLA? The blue blood winners usually win it. “
While the Bearcat basketball community has had no success in their program this season, they were rightly happy that Cronin took a deep run this year. Was UC just a stepping stone for Cronin to reach a bigger basketball school?
Cronin attended the University of Cincinnati, and while visiting his alma mater, turned down offers to leave before accepting the Bruins.
There’s no denying the warm weather, cash wins, and pace of Los Angeles were all taken into account on departure. However, that’s not why Cronin left Cincinnati.
Prior to Cincinnati, Cronin began his career at Woodward High School before being brought to UC as a video coordinator. From there, Cronin rose in Louisville and Murray State before leading UC.
The subject: Mick Cronin works hard and accepts challenges. The departure was not that easy and selfish. Cronin had to leave behind his biggest backer and fan, Hep, who attended every UC game and couldn’t see much of UCLAs.
At 49, Cronin competed in 12 different NCAA tournaments. That’s impressive, especially if he hasn’t been to the “blue-blooded” schools of college basketball. Cronin set out for a challenge. The challenge has now been accepted and successfully mastered, with defense at the forefront.
Cronin is known for being loud and aggressive, with a defense that supports him on the pitch. That style took him from a high school coach to an NCAA Final Four director. As well as speaking for his new team, Cronin spoke for himself when he said, “We won.”