Steve Alford has spent the past eight seasons with the Hawkeyes and has a 152-106 overall mark, but many Iowa fans are ecstatic about his departure.
Iowa lost consecutive first-round NCAA tournament games in 2005 and 2006 and didn't make the postseason at all this season after a 17-14 overall record and a 9-7 mark in Big Ten play.
A year ago, Alford attempted to go after the Indiana job, but the former Hoosiers standout was passed over in favor of Kelvin Sampson. Alford won't publicly admit that he was pushing hard to return to Bloomington, but according to numerous sources close to both the Iowa and Indiana programs that was very much the case.
The handwriting was on the wall for Alford to exit this season because he was losing his best player, Adam Haluska. Add to it the perception that a majority of Iowa fans were disenchanted with Alford.
Some of it stems from the Pierre Pierce saga, who was charged with assault in 2002, allowed to rejoin the team and then sentenced to prison in 2005 for an incident involving a former girlfriend.
Alford made an intelligent decision. He got out of Dodge (well, Iowa City) before he was forced out.
One of the primary reasons why Alford was tied in with New Mexico is because its president, David Schmidly, worked with Bobby Knight at Texas Tech. Alford was a star at Indiana for Knight.
The Lobos fired Ritchie McKay after an 81-66 mark in five seasons and are reportedly making more of a financial commitment to the basketball program, making renovations to The Pit and also paying a hefty salary believed to be close to the $1 million range to Alford.