UCLA fires coach Jim Mora in sixth season with the Bruins

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UCLA announced Sunday that coach Jim Mora has been fired after compiling a 46-30 record in six seasons with the Bruins. 

"Making a coaching change is never easy, but it's an especially difficult decision when you know that a coach has given his all to our University," said athletic director Dan Guerrero in a statement. "Jim helped reestablish our football program, and was instrumental in so many ways in moving the program forward. While his first four seasons at UCLA were very successful, the past two seasons have not met expectations. We thank Jim and his family for his service to our school and his unquestionable commitment to our student-athletes."

Additionally, Mora himself released a statement thanking the university, its coaches and players for the past six years. 

UCLA also announced that a national search will begin immediately and that former UCLA quarterback Troy Aikman will help in the search.

Offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch will serve as interim coach the remainder of the season.

UCLA was Mora's first significant college coaching job after he spent the majority of his career in the NFL. He led the Bruins to a combined 29-11 record his first three seasons in Los Angeles but had seen the team steadily decline over the last three years. UCLA is 17-19 since the start of the 2015 season despite Mora recruiting and coaching star quarterbacks including current Green Bay Packers backup Brett Hundley and potential future top pick Josh Rosen.

The Bruins said in a release they are buying out the remainder of Mora's contract. According to USA Today's data base, Mora's buyout is $12.275 million.

Mora's UCLA teams will mostly be remembered for failing to live up to expectations. He routinely brought in recruiting classes ranked in the top 20 nationally -- and amongst the best in the Pac-12 -- but the results on the field never matched those rankings.

UCLA never won more than six conference games in any season during Mora's tenure, and the three seasons it did that came between 2012-14. Since the start of the 2015 season -- when Rosen, a five-star recruit, took over at QB -- the Bruins have gone 10-16 in the Pac-12. In the 29 games that Rosen started for Mora, the Bruins were only 16-13.

Mora also struggled with crosstown rival USC in recent years. After winning his first three games against USC, following Saturday night's 28-23 loss to the Trojans, Mora's Bruins have now lost three straight to their rivals, and they've done so by an average of 15.3 points.

It's that failure to meet expectations that will live on as the identity of the Mora Era at UCLA.

CBS Sports Writer

Tom Fornelli has been a college football writer at CBS Sports since 2010. During his time at CBS, Tom has proven time and again that he hates your favorite team and thinks your rival is a paragon of football... Full Bio

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