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UCLA's Jim Mora picked Ed Orgeron for Pac-12 Coach of the Year

By Chip Patterson | Staff Writer

Ed Orgeron received a vote for Pac-12 Coach of the Year from Jim Mora, his opponent on Saturday. (USATSI)
Ed Orgeron received a vote for Pac-12 Coach of the Year from UCLA coach Jim Mora. (USATSI)

USC interim coach Ed Orgeron has led the team to a 6-1 record since taking over for Lane Kiffin after the former coach's dismissal in September. The impressive turnaround has boosted Orgeron's stock as a potential head coach -- if not at USC then definitely elsewhere -- and led to support for "Coach O" as a Pac-12 Coach of the Year candidate.

You can count UCLA coach Jim Mora, Orgeron's opposition on Saturday, as one of those supporters. After practice on Monday, Mora was asked if he saw anything different from USC since the dismissal of Lane Kiffin.

"It looks like they're having a lot of fun playing football," Mora said of the Orgeron-led Trojans. "Confidence. He gave them a real spark. When you come into a situation like that where you're an interim head coach and the likelihood of you being retained from the outside perception, it really frees you up to go after it. Coach O, I think everybody that knows him knows he has an infectious personality. You see it in the way his team plays.

"I don't know if I'm allowed to tell you this, but I'm going to tell you this: I voted for him for Pac-12 Coach of the Year last night. That's what kind of job I think he's done."

Check out Mora's comments below (the quote starts around the 3:55 mark). H/T to CoachingSearch.com for posting and Daily Bruin on the video.

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