Ben Howland bids farewell to UCLA after firing

Ben Howland bids farewell to UCLA after firing
UCLA coach Ben Howland, center, gives direction during practice for a second-round game of the NCAA men's college basketball tournament, Thursday, March 21, 2013, in Austin, Texas. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Ben Howland kept it classy in departing as UCLA basketball coach, thanking the athletic director who had fired him a day earlier while noting the high expectations that come with running a program that owns a record 11 national championships.

Howland was applauded by supporters as he walked into a news conference at Pauley Pavilion for the last time Monday. The 55-year-coach expressed gratitude for his 10-year run in Westwood, the longest tenure since John Wooden retired in 1975 after 27 years on the sideline.

Howland says he's excited about the future and wants to coach again, although he doesn't know where or when that will happen. He says he wanted to speak out one last time at UCLA so he could publicly thank his current and former players and his staff.