Tag:UCLA coaching shakeup
Posted on: February 8, 2011 4:59 pm

Neuheisel vacations as staff vacancies wait

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

No one -- well, not many people -- would blame a head football coach for taking a little personal time following Signing Day. After the long grind of fall camp bleeding into the season followed immediately by the sprint to the recruiting finish line, it's a rare human being who wouldn't have his batteries almost totally drained.

But that blameslessness assumes the coach wasn't leaving important unfinished business behind him when he went on vacation. And for an unstable-looking program coming off of a 4-8 disaster of a season, multiple vacancies on the coaching staff most definitely qualify as "unfinished business." But according to a candidate for one of those vacancies at UCLA, that hasn't stopped Rick Neuheisel from jetting off to warmer climes:
Nevada running backs coach Jim Mastro interviewed for and was offered a position on the UCLA football staff Friday, but said he won't make a decision on whether he's leaving the Wolf Pack for at least a week.

"Nothing's done. We're still in talks," Mastro said via cell phone Friday night. "The challenge of the move is appealing, but this isn't an easy decision" ...

Mastro said UCLA coach Rick Neuheisel was in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, and is scheduled to return to the U.S. on Thursday. Mastro said he needed to discuss the terms of a potential contract with Neuheisel before making a decision.
Remember that "running game coordinator," the position for which Mastro is interviewing, isn't the only or even the most important open position on the Bruins staff; that would be defensive coordinator, the job for which Neuheisel had reportedly already hired former USC assistant Rocky Seto before Seto's premature Facebook announcement (and according to many , fan-related protests based on Seto's Trojan past) led to his dismissal.

And as Bruin fans already irritated by the Seto fiasco are bitterly pointing out , while Neuheisel enjoys the Cabo sunshine, other schools are in the process of potentially hiring one of the precious few brand-name coordinators still on the market.

If his team hadn't gone 2-7 in its conference, if the Bruins' recruiting class hadn't been the program's weakest in years, if he had all his staff's i's dotted and t's crossed, then no one would begrudge Neuheisel a little time off. But given the state of affairs in which he has left his team, it's hard not to imagine him playing a fiddle on that Mexico beach as his program burns a hole to the bottom of the Pac-12 .

Posted on: December 18, 2010 6:07 pm

Neuheisel fires UCLA defensive coordinator

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

You can't accuse Rick Neuheisel of guaranteeing his staff a thing during UCLA's swan dive to 4-8. So it's no surpise that with the season over, heads have started rolling :

UCLA defensive coordinator Chuck Bullough and wide receiver coach Reggie Moore were fired Saturday morning, according to a source in the program who was not authorized to speak on the subject.

It is the first response to a disappointing 4-8 season, but likely not the last. Coach Rick Neuheisel could not be reached for comment.

That's the Los Angeles Times breaking the news, but Neuheisel would go on the record later to say that Bullough got the ax because the Bruins "were not consistent enough in stopping the run" and that he was "still working" on whether he'd make any other staff changes.

After the kind of campaign the Bruins just endured, it's hard to say anyone on the UCLA coaching roster -- maybe even Neuheisel himself -- would deserve to keep their job, and Bullough is no exception; with his unit ranked 95th in total defense and a miserable 109th in stopping the run ("not consistent enough" is kind), there's no question the defense could use a shakeup.

The only question is how much shaking Neuheisel is willing to do. The guess here is that there's a good deal more to come, since another disaster like 2010 will lead to the head coach's office getting the shakeup at this time next year.



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