Statement from Neuheisel on Walker departure

Rick Neuheisel is vacationing with his family in Sun Valley, Idaho and is unavailable for comment. However, UCLA released this statement from Neuheisel:

STATEMENT FROM UCLA HEAD COACH RICK NEUHEISEL REGARDING THE HIRING OF DEWAYNE WALKER AS HEAD COACH AT NEW MEXICO STATE

“I am thrilled for DeWayne and his family. It’s an exciting time for New Mexico State and an exciting time for UCLA, because one of our coaches has earned the opportunity to be a head coach. I have no doubt he will enjoy success at New Mexico State.

“DeWayne is a first-class coach and a first-class man who certainly deserves the opportunity to run his own program. DeWayne has been a terrific asset to UCLA, both on and off the field, and he will be missed. I, and the entire UCLA family, thank him for what he has done for our program and wish him well.

“I hope to fill the defensive coordinator position in the next few weeks. Because I felt there was an excellent chance DeWayne would get a head coaching opportunity, I have a list of candidates for the position. Nothing will occur until the staff reconvenes on Sunday and we discuss the candidates together. Our first priority is to continue to build an outstanding recruiting class.”

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About Jill Painter

Jill Painter is a sports columnist for the Los Angeles News Group, covering everything from the Dodgers, Lakers, Clippers, USC, UCLA, Kings, golf and all human interest stories in sports.