LOS ANGELES -- Karl Dorrell was an acknowledged success in building his players' character as the UCLA coach. His won-loss record was another story.
UCLA athletic director Dan Guerrero, who hired Dorrell to his first head coaching job five years ago, fired him on Monday after the Bruins completed a 6-6 regular season.
Dorrell was dismissed a day after UCLA accepted a Las Vegas Bowl bid and two days after a loss to cross-town rival Southern California.
"I hired Karl five years ago in the hopes that this program would grow and prosper under his leadership," Guerrero said at a news conference. "In many ways, it did.
"He established stability, established a solid foundation and dealt with the infrastructure issues that had occurred in our program at that time."
Dorrell, with a 35-27 record at UCLA, said he will continue to pull for the players he recruited.
"I know that the program is in much better shape than when I inherited it and I believe that it is ready to flourish," he said in a prepared statement. "I am proud of what the program accomplished during my five years, especially in the areas of academics, citizenship and recruiting."
Although he helped clean up the program, that was only part of what Guerrero wanted.
"The other was to build this program into a consistent winner, a program that would be in the national discussion on a regular basis," Guerrero said.
"But after an analysis of the five-year tenure at the helm, and my discussions with him through the season, my discussions with him even yesterday, I felt it was important for us and this program to move forward."
The 43-year-old Dorrell will decide whether he wants to coach the Bruins in the bowl match against BYU (10-2) on Dec. 22. If not, defensive coordinator DeWayne Walker will serve as interim coach for the game.
UCLA received bowl bids in each of Dorrell's seasons, and had an outside chance to reach the Rose Bowl before a 24-7 defeat by USC over the weekend.
The Bruins had 20 returning starters this season and were ranked No. 11 after their first two games. But then they were stunned 44-6 by Utah. UCLA later lost to then-winless Notre Dame, with quarterback injuries forcing the Bruins to use a third-string walk-on to run their offense.