Jim Mora new UCLA HC

Submitted by Noleverine on December 10th, 2011 at 6:51 AM

Looks like Jim Mora will be coaching UCLA, according to rumors on ESPN.com.

Jim L. Mora will be named football coach at UCLA Saturday, a source close to the situation told ESPNLosAngeles.com. Mora, the former coach of the Seattle Seahawks and the Atlanta Falcons, is currently an analyst for the NFL network. He replaces Rick Neuheisel, who was fired after going 21-29 during his four years with the Bruins.



According to the article, it will be officially announced sometime today.


EDIT: Realizing this may cause some confusion, I'd like to clarify.  It's the younger Jim Mora

Not the older



December 10th, 2011 at 7:49 AM ^

These bonehead college ADs keep thinking they're hiring the next Pete Carroll out of the NFL, when it's far, far more likely they're hiring the next Charlie Weis or Mike Sherman.


December 10th, 2011 at 7:55 AM ^

A lot of times when high-profile coaches don't work out, the reasons are obvious in hindsight. Charlie Weis, Ty Willngham (although I still think ND pulled the trigger too early on him), Rich Rod - everybody can tell you why those didn't work.

Neuheisel was a highly regarded coach with previous experience at a school (Washington) that is just as much of a traditional power as UCLA. He took a program that had become firmly mediocre, and won a Rose Bowl to cap off a top-5 season in his second year there. As far as I know, he faced none of the silliness at UCLA that we saw at Michigan over the last three years. And he got to UCLA at the end of/after the USC dynasty's heyday. He's at a school that has all the perks of USC, except it's in a nicer neighborhood (or so I've heard - it's been over twenty years since I was in LA and I don't remember it very well).

So what gives? Well regarded coach, a school that should be easier to recruit too than his old school,  exact same competition - and his bad years at Washington were his good years at UCLA. Why didn't this work?


December 10th, 2011 at 8:32 AM ^

He and Norm Chow fought constantly about how to run the offense and he also insisted on messing with the quarterbacks and kept trying to start Kevin  Prince when Richard Brehaut was A) a better passer and B) seemingly not made of glass.  He was also a Ferentz-a-saurus when it came to punting decisions and there was very little aggression in his game plans.  Finally, there was a RR-ian style decision  to have his offensive coordinators run the Pistol offense that they had never heard of and put the team out of synch.  His logic in going to the pistol was that it would help the run game without killing the pass game and put a band-aid on the non-existent offensive line depth. 

Finally, he tried to recruit nationally and lost control of recruiting in LA.  All-in-all it was a total disaster that was not aided by Neuheisel's non-stop bravado that made him seem untouched by reality, if not completely clueless.  He did, however, handle his firing well.


December 10th, 2011 at 8:44 AM ^

A lot of those mistakes sound too damn familiar. I guess from Washington you'd have to recruit nationally a bit more, and he probably had an OC in Seattle that didn't follow him? Still, it's crazy to see a coach fare worse against the same competition when he had access to greater resources. I did think he was very classy in his firing.


December 10th, 2011 at 9:32 AM ^

I heard a radio interview a few days ago where Neuheisel was talking about how hard it is to recruit top flight talent at UCLA because UCLA does not have top flight facilities.  He seemed to be very down and very frustrated.  He was more or less saying that UCLA is a coaching deathtrap because they want high end results but they aren't willing to make the appropriate sacrifices.  At the time of his hire, when he was talking about taking LA back from USC, he was under the impression that the UCLA admin would step up, and that wasn't the case at all.

Here's a five part article about their need for new facilities.

part one

part two

part three 

part four

part five

nice post about Mora on the same blog

They are not happy.



December 10th, 2011 at 2:00 PM ^

Neuheisel left Colorado in a shambles, then did the same at Washington.  Both programs were in disarray with a stench of history of bending/breaking NCAA rules.  I was not surprised but was very much disappointed when UCLA hired the idiot.  I don't get how he has an image of being a good coach unless you go back to his days as a QB coach... then, maybe...


December 10th, 2011 at 8:00 AM ^

What an uninspiring hire. When everyone else in the Pac 12 is going big and taking a risk, UCLA makes a move that makes the Illini seem bold.

Zone Left

December 10th, 2011 at 11:23 AM ^

I think it's a really nice hire too. What other realistic options did Illinois have? A mid-level BCS program can basically go after a top assistant or an up and coming non AQ head coach. They went with the second option.

I like their choice much better than hiring a recently out of work head coach or some retread from the NFL.


December 10th, 2011 at 8:28 AM ^

From what I am hearing from fans out there, this is barely registering beyond the accumulation of more evidence that Dan Guerrero, AD, needs to be fired.


December 10th, 2011 at 8:36 AM ^

The main objection is that he went for a guy who has no college experience and was mediocre at best in the NFL, when it appears he didn;t even try to talk to some college head coaches who could possibly be poached or even go for college coordinators.  To most it feels loazy and incompetent.  However, several people mention wanting to have talked to Dantonio, which would have made me burn any and all UCLA gear instantly and send a letter of apology to my grandparents explaining why I can't root for UCLA anymore.


December 10th, 2011 at 10:48 AM ^

I don't like this hire at all. I don't see any reason to expect an unsuccessful NFL retread with no college background to be a successful college coach. This reminds me of Nebraska hiring Bill Callahan.  They probably should have gone for a well-regarded coordinator or mid-major head coach. I think they would have even been better off picking Mike Stoops or Paul Wulff off the scrap heap--at least those guys have shown that they can make some progress running a Pac-12 program.


December 10th, 2011 at 8:46 AM ^


But seriously, this is the second truly incomprehensible hire this week.(Weis being the other.) What are these AD's thinking, that  a name/or NFL history will bring kids in?  Crazy.


December 10th, 2011 at 9:41 AM ^

Neuheisel always looked to me like the asshole kid in class who just knew he was smarter than everyone else and enjoyed making everyone else feel stupid every chance he got.  Which, in turn, led to everyone beating the shit out of him at recess if memory serves.

Come to think of it....Slick Rick kinda dresses like that kid too........


December 10th, 2011 at 9:27 AM ^

I lived in SoCal for 30 years and it's not that I was a UCLA Bruin fan as much as I hate everything about USC: the Rose Bowl games where the Wolverines got screwed by bad calls, truly smug assholes who graduate as Trojans forever that get USC Alumni license plate brackets instead of diplomas....I could go on forever.

Maybe they are following the USC lead on this.  The Trojans were in the toilet for almost ten years when they hired Pete Carroll, another NFL reject, and he led them to the promised land before leaving on the edge of NCAA infractions.

The comments above about facilities are interesting.  How much fun is it when the football stadium is a 45-minute drive from campus?


December 10th, 2011 at 9:34 AM ^

Look what Terry Donahue did there in the 70s and 80s; won or shared five conference titles, including 4 in six seasons; won seven bowl games in a row, among them three Rose Bowls, and produced a bunch of high-profile NFL players.

The problem is the coaches they've hired; after Donahue, it's been Bob Toledo, Karl Dorrell, and Slick Rick.

I know David Brandon has his warts, but his hiring of BH has been a stroke of genius by comparison.


December 10th, 2011 at 9:44 AM ^

In hiring coaches at UCLA that you would think he might eventually get it right, but look at your list: each of those last three hires is completely different in every possible manner.  The funny thing is that Toledo was the most successful and they have gotten worse with each new coach.


December 10th, 2011 at 10:50 AM ^

Hard to find coaches with NFL coaching experience. Rick Neuheisel didnt work out there. I mean,  UCLA is a tough job, and you need someone big to compete with the more successful programs in the PAC 12. They need some stability. I probably would have condsidered other people although. Brent Venables (Oklahoma DC) would be #1 in my book for any head coach position.