The second Pac-12 job of the season has opened up. News broke Sunday that Jim Mora was fired by UCLA less than 24 hours after a heartbreaking loss to USC that left the Bruins with a 5-6 record. Think about how cold college coaching is… Mora was not only fired on his day off, he was fired on his birthday! There is no love and no mercy in alleged “amateur athletics”. At least he leaves with a $12 million dollar parting gift. The writing was on the wall for a while that Mora would be fired if UCLA did not compete for the Pac-12 title.

I personally believe that coaches should to be evaluated every year. There are two questions that need to be answered regardless of whether the team won the championship or went totally defeated (zero games won).
1.     Is there a coach who we can hire that is GUARANTEED to do a better job?
2.    Is there HOPE that the future is brighter than the past? Can the coach walk in high school kids’ home, or a free agent dinner and make them believe the future is brighter?

If the answer to either question is not in the affirmative, then a coaching change needs to be made.

In UCLA’s case, the answer is yes. They believe they can get a coach guaranteed to do better than Mora has the past two seasons. And they believe there is a loss of hope. Mora was able to recruit multiple top 20 recruiting classes but wasn’t getting top 20 results. The defense was ranked last in the nation against the run. Offensively, the Bruins had run three different offenses in as many years, which creates a loss of identity.

To many familiar with how UCLA handles coaching changes, the timing was curious. The Bruins don’t typically make coaching changes before the season ends. However, this change was made specifically for one of the top candidates, Chip Kelly. Kelly was rumored to be considering the Florida Gators job. Mora was still the coach up until Sunday and coaches typically “respect” other coaches by not discussing jobs that aren’t available.

Now that we have taken care of all the housekeeping, it’s time to start discussing the new candidates. This time the school is taking a new approach to their coaching search. Instead of using a coaching search firm, they have tasked Casey Wasserman and Troy Aikman with finding the Bruins new head football coach. This is a a smart move because athletic director Dan Guerrero does not have a good track record with football coaches. He fired Bob Toledo and hire and fired Karl Dorrell, Rick Nueheisel, and Jim Mora. I have no idea how an athletic director survives that. I have 5 candidates that should be on their short list of candidates.

5. Jim Leavitt (Oregon Defensive Coordinator)- Leavitt will be one of the most sought after assistant coaches this year. He would bring toughness and a defensive mentality to Westwood. This man is a defensive sage and miracle worker. In his last two jobs, he has turned around two defenses from awful to very respectable in short order (Colorado & Oregon). Leavitt is a great coach and brings enthusiasm and a workman like attitude to every team he coaches. Recently reports surfaced that he had agreed to be the Kansas State “coach in waiting” succeeding Bill Snyder but the deal was nixed. Rumor has it that Leavitt got screwed because Snyder wants his son to be the coach to follow him at Kansas State.

4. Kevin Sumlin (Texas A&M Head Coach)- He is a clear case of one man’s trash equals another man’s treasure. Sumlin is clearly underappreciated by many Texas A&M fans and boosters. He has never won less than 8 games in a season, and is on the short list of teams that has beat Alabama recently. He has been able to successfully recruit to Texas and all over the nation to a little hole-in-the-wall called College Station. Imagine what he could do in Los Angeles! He would bring a good coaching staff and a consistency to the Bruins. He could be the coach that could get them over the hump.

3. Mike Leach (Washington State Head Coach)- Everything about Mike Leach is the complete opposite of what you think a UCLA coach should be. He’s kind of a weirdo. His press conferences are at times offbeat and regularly include a hodgepodge of information. Some of that information is related to football, some not. Every team has an image, and he does not fit UCLA’s. At this point, should the Bruins be concerned about image or a guy who can win? Washington State was recently ranked the worst and least desirable college program in the nation. Leach went up there and has turned them into winners. Wazzu is one win away from a birth in the Pac-12 title game. He wins without premium talent. What do you think would happen with blue chip talent he could recruit at UCLA?

2. Scott Frost (UCF Head Coach)- The hottest name in coaching right now is Scott Frost. In two years, Frost has taken a 0-12 football team to a top 15 team. He also has one of the most innovative offenses in the nation. Before he got the Central Florida job, he was the offensive coordinator of the Oregon Ducks. Scott Frost’s coaching resume is not extremely long, but neither was 30-year-old Sean McVay’s before he instantly turned the L.A. Rams around. If I could not get Chip Kelly as my coach I would throw a giant bag of money at Frost.

1. Chip Kelly (TV analyst)- All the reasons you hire Kelly are just obvious: recruiting, excitement, and, of course, winning. Chip was the architect of the high-flying Oregon offense. His offense either led or was in the top five in the nation in scoring, rushing, and total offense every year he was at Oregon as head coach or offensive coordinator. He will be able to recruit the west coast and will be a real threat to USC’s recruiting. If skill position players have the choice to play for Clay Helton at USC or Chip Kelly at UCLA, many will choose the Bruins than had been. You can all but assure Chip Kelly will win. The most valuable thing he can bring to UCLA is excitement. Fans, students, and boosters will be excited to show up to the Rose Bowl to see Kelly’s brand of football. He is the number one choice.

Recommended Posts

No comment yet, add your voice below!

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *