MORA DEFINITELY IN THE MIX

Hey guys this is Vinny Bonsignore. I’ve been poking around UCLA today and a couple of things on the football coaching search.

First of all, at the risk of summoning my inner Spicoli from Fast Times at Ridgemont High, the whole Jim Tressel being seen on campus thing is totally bogus.

At least according to my guy on the inside, who has been on campus all day every day for while now and didn’t see him.

And he promises me he would have seen Tressel, had the former Ohio State coach been there.

That said, UCLA athletic director Dan Guerrero and former NFL coach Jim Mora Jr. have definitely talked within the last few days,

Guerrero has been in New York the last few days but he is expected back in Los Angeles Thursday and he’s expected to sit down and weigh all his options at that point.

Now, before some of you guys jump off the deep end on Mora Jr., think of it this way:

Who was the last former NFL coach and defensive coordinator who was fourth or fifth on a coaching list search then got hired much to the chagrin of the fan base but ended up being one of the greatest coaches in college history??

Yeah, I think we all know who that was.

Maybe Mora Jr. fits that same bill.

Give him a chance, is all I am saying.

Anyway, Mora, 50, was 26-22 as coach of the NFL Atlanta Falcons before going
5-11 as coach of the Seahawks in the 2009 season. His also has
college coaching experience as a graduate assistant at Washington in
the 1984 season.

He is also the son of longtime NFL coach Jim Mora.

So there you go, guys,

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  • Anonymous

    Vinny, your news sickens me. Everyone needs to stop with the comparisons to Cheaty. He was the exception, not the rule. Look at all the NFL coaches who did not have a great run in college. We should not be settling for a guy that no other team is showing interest in while there are qualified coaches out there still. Ridiculous.

  • Sculpture Garden

    Vinny, I’m sure your guy on the inside hasn’t seen Jon Gold either since that guy is clueless as far as the search is concerned…

  • HARBOR FREIGHT

    Yes, everyone please stop trying to make connections. Either like/hate Mora as an individual, not because he only chews Big Red gum like Pete Carroll.

  • Inquiring Mind Wants to Know

    Is Tressel in the mix?

  • BRUINBEATCH

    I’m all for Mora jr. Especially over Tress! The kids would prefer to play for him. I asked 2 current HS C.I.F players both already committed to PAC12 schools ( sadly not UCLA) and they said Mora seems more exciting! I agree! Yeah Tress has a resume but just like Cheaty Petey, even I’d have a hell of a record if I coached kids with that kind of talent! LETS GO BRUINS!

  • Women’s Studies ’78

    I’m getting excited about playing in this Kraft fight Hunger bowl. Homelessness and hunger plague Los Angeles and San Francisco. Its about time our alma mater pays attention to this serious social issue. Vince, is it true proceeds from this football match will be donated to local food banks? Thank you for covering the social issues in this blog.

  • Marty McFly

    I wasn’t sold on Mora until you mentioned his recent college coaching expericing from 1984… as a grad assistant. :-/

    At least Carroll had something like 6 years in the college ranks as a coordinator before his NFL experience and eventual hiring at SC.

  • BruinMan

    Thanks for the dynamite insight…? Not sure about Tressell visiting campus but Petros of “The Loose Cannons” on fox sports radio confirmed that he has interviewed for the position. This sounds like a post form a Mora Jr. apologist. When Carroll came to USC he had one big asset on his side, charisma. From what I can tell, Mora Jr. has none of that. I think it would be an enormous blunder of a hire.

  • Brock

    Jesus Christ… with June Jones in the mix we are seriously considering mora? This is ridiculous.

  • sandiegobruinfan

    How I wish DG would bring on DeWayne Walker but it appears that is not going to happen.

    For every Pete Carroll, there is a Mike Sherman and Dave Wannstedt among others. Note that he was canned from Atlanta after (jokingly) campaigning for the UW gig and then got blown out of town in Seattle after 1 season as the HC only to be replaced by PC of all people.

    If he has a plan that blows away everyone else and can demonstrate he’s willing to recruit like a beast, then great…but I hope we’re not going after Mora in the blind hope we’ll find lightning in a bottle.

  • Anonymous

    These comparisons to Pete Carroll are ridiculous. Besides, Pete’s success was directly linked to the fact that he “cheated” not because of his coaching prowess. Get it!

    This Mora stuff is a bunch of crap and is silly when there “were” more qualified coaches that DG did not even consider.
    Meyer, Fedora, Leach, Rich Rod, Malzahn, Briles, Jones, Mullen, shall I go on…

    Let me see….

    Mora, Jr.= 4 years nfl head coach with winning percentage of .500 / graduate assistant at UW 1984

    or

    Tressel = 4 division 1-AA championships in 9 years at Youngstown / 1 national championship in 3 appearances / 5 big 10 conference titles / 1 Heisman trophy winner / 8 bcs game appearances in 10 years at OSU

    If Mora ends up here it will be the official death of UCLA football. I don’t think Mora’s name will generate so much positive buzz that will fill seats at the Rose Bowl.

    When Leach was announced at WSU, it generates 350 new season ticket sales in 5 days and $250,000.00 in donations to the general athletic fund.

    Dan does not get it.

  • The Blur

    I’m interested to know what other options Guerrero will be weighing on Thursday. As far as anybody knows, Moras’s the only one.

  • Anonymous

    Vinnie, you’re a sear suckin’ pro Troj stooge and you have as much “insider” contact at UCLA as your next suppository laxative–nice lazy azz hatchet job on Reeves Nelson there too…like the kid commited a crime or something–did he steal your broom?

  • rejn

    I say Go For It!

    At his point, he might be the best option, and I don’t mean that as a negetive.

    He seems to be a quality man, with a great family. He’s a role model. He’s experienced in more than just football. He’s looks like a quality leader and someone who people or a University would be extremely proud to have a part of their family, as well as representing the university.

    Maybe he’s not the most high profile sexy choice, but that ship sailed along time ago. UCLA Football needs a man in charge who can take the lead and then see where it goes – not someone like Neuheisel who kept on saying that we’re about to turn a corner and nothing ever happened. Rick is very likeable but Mora, I believe will be someone who is just as likeable and deserving of a shot to make this happen.

    At the same time, not that this is why you hire him, but I have a feeling Mora will set himself apart from the other class who thinks they own the world and are deserving of the praise of all mankind.

    I have a feeling that UCLA could do alot worse than Mora, but I also have a feeling that Mora might do a fine job. Is he the best choice? Was Peterson the best choice? Golden? Sark? Sumlin? You never know. Neuheisel was suppose to be and look what happened.

    Guerrero, make something happen, and if it’s Mora, then let’s do it and not look back.

  • Bruinjim62

    I think we are missing the point with what Jon is saying. Regardless of what you think about Pete carroll, he is one of the most celebrated and successful coaches in college football history. He absolutely dominated the bruin football team and put a monopoly on recruiting in the southern California area; moreover, areas that used to be bruin hotbeds. With his success, he contributed to putting ucla football on the back burner in Los Angeles and we may not even see the light for another twenty years. When Pete was hired, he too was critized by the sc fan base! Well…after 9years, 2 championships, 8 bcs bowls, 8 victories agains nd and the bruin nation, it would seem like it was a smart hire by their ad. Let’s support this hire and see what happens. I’m not saying he will be the next Pete Carroll, but he just may be successful.

  • Bruin Brian

    Quite simply if Mora is hired I will NOT renew my season seats for next year. If Tressel were to be hired, I’d renew in a heartbeat and probably add two more tickets to my account.

    I too agree that the stupid comparison of Mora to Pete the Cheat are a total joke. You’d think Mora would play by the rules while Cheaty did everything in his power to go around them and that’s why he was successful at SUC. I rest my case………..

  • Anonymous

    Tressel is clearly the best coaching option but an impossible hire given that he faces potential show cause penalty from the NCAA. No d-1 football head coach has received one and it is pretty much the kiss of death in terms of him ever coaching college football again. NFL is always an option. He would be grouped with names such as Clem Haskins, Todd Bozeman and Kelvin Sampson. Ouch. I guess Jim mora jr it is.

  • rockyseto

    i know pete carroll. jim mora jr is no pete carroll my friend.

  • Bruin booth grad98

    Guys….Pete is one of the ten greatest coaches in college football history. He had 7 bcs bowl win. It’s a lot to ask mora to put 7 points up again sc….we shouldn’t be putting theses Carroll expectations on him.

  • Lifelong Bruin Fan

    Rejn: I agree with you. Mora is not my first choice (why oh why did we not hire Leach when he was there for the asking), but I do believe he has positive qualities (no nonsense, tough minded, extensive NFL experience to sell to recruits, reportedly hardworking and hyper-competitive, etc.) that should not be dismissed out of hand. I still think we should interview Mullen, but if our search truly has narrowed down to Mora, I think can be successful at UCLA.

    BTW I just got booted off of Bruins Nation for expressing the above sentiment. Talk about some Brown Shirts–if you want to get a taste for what it was like in Nazi Germany or Mao’s China, go to BN and post some dissenting views and see how long that lasts.

    (I have a full copy of the exchange that led to my “termination” if anybody is interested in reading it.)

  • Battanpocket

    Mora would be an excellent choice. That is if Mora is actually interested in coaching at UCLA. Bruin fans and boosters act like it an honor to coach UCLA. Throwing names around of coaches who show no interest in coming here. Not everyone wants to live in LA. In fact I doubt there are many coaches who want to come to LA.Mora has the second best coaching record for the Atlanta Falcons even took them to the NFL championship game. Then had one season in Seattle. Damn give the guy a break.I bet Mora has less interest in us, then we have in him.

  • Anonymous

    Perhaps JT is in play because DG is tight with the NCAA. He could ask around if JT is likely to face a show cause. If he does he is finished at the college level, but if not, the doors are open wide. But then again, why would he want to coach at ucla and not a top college team?

  • shawnymoe

    If we hire mora jr we should just drop our football program all together. Damn it’s sad when the best u can do is get a coach who nobody wants.

  • BruinRogue

    Mora isn’t the worst choice (if the Tressel rumors were true, Guerrerror gets a new get out of jail card). Dad coached briefly at UCLA. But I think we can do better, unless we want a 7-8 win guy.

  • Lifelong Bruin Fan

    Anonymous 8:28: I’ve wondered the same myself. DG is proving himself inept at handling the reins as AD, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he is using his NCAA connections to find out the scoop on Tressel.

    Personally although I don’t condone his behavior at OSU, as long as he runs a clean program at UCLA I would support him as our head coach. There is no question in terms of football accomplishments he is head and shoulders above anyone else being considered and that includes Petersen. In fact I am sure there is nobody here that wouldn’t have salivated at the thought of having Tressel as our coach just two years ago.

    Shawnymoe: Sometimes reality is a hard pill to swallow. Have you read the article by Chris Dufresne on the state of the UCLA program? It’s eye opening. “UCLA looks like Miss America from 100 yards but more like Miss Piggy the closer you get.” Ouch.

    http://www.latimes.com/sports/la-sp-1207-dufresne-ucla-coach-20111207,0,842687.column

    As Battanpocket says, I am glad Mora actually *wants* to come to UCLA and right our ship.

  • Anonymous

    I think I speak for everybody, when I say…

    PLAYOFFS?!!?!?!?! I just hope we can win a game!

  • Anonymous

    If it is true that June jones is not being considered by asu anymore, why not jump on him. Accomplished at the college level and has NFL ties. At the very least would bring an exciting offense that fits the PAC-12. Has ties to Texas recruiting.

  • asoka55

    It is hard to imagine how far UCLA has sunk when
    we even CONSIDER Jim Mora Jr as a serious candidate.
    He has a LOSING record, everywhere he has gone his teams
    have GOTTEN WORSE, he has ZERO NCAA and recruiting experience.
    This is no role model, there is no valid comparison to PC, it is
    another disaster in the making. Just SAY NO, emphatically.

  • FG UW fan

    I find it ironic that everyone on this board makes a big deal out of “Cheatey Petey,” but the majority of you are hot for Tressel.

    Compared to Tressel, PC is a choirboy and a role model. Tressel repeatedly his bad stuff at Youngstown St., as was documented in the SI expose. Then his last year at OSU he basically hid the fact that his 6 best players were spending all their time with drug dealers in a tatoo shop, selling all their gear or signing junk for free tatoos and other favors. He basically his the fact that his best players were ineligible because of shenanigans with criminals. He boldly lied to his AD about this.

    And you guys want this dude for your coach? And you think PC makes USC tarnished?

    Jesus.

  • 74ucla

    Wow. I think Dan G has to do better than Mora Jr(Nothing personal against JM jr., but I think after UCLA’s abysmal results of the last 10 years they have to get a bigger name with a more proven track record). And I hope for DG”s sake and for UCLA that they do. If that ends up being the hire, it may be time to give up the season tickets after 20 plus years until someone at UCLA shows the alumni, the school, and the season ticket holders some respect. Let’s see DG fires a guy who won two Pac 10 Championships and was a play away from playing for the National Championship and replaces him with two coaches who never sniffed either!! How is Dan G still around even to make this next hire?? It must be great to be overpaid by the State of California for doing a job so poorly. No wonder the state is broke!! How long do you think Dan would have lasted at that private school across town???? Dan, it’s 4th and goal. You have to punch it in or you are gonna be gone!!!

  • Lifelong Bruin Fan

    74ucla: I think I speak for most people when I say we would LOVE to land a bigger name hire than Mora, but the fact of the matter is people are not banging down the doors to come coach at UCLA, as sad as that is.

    I referenced Dufresne’s article above on the state of the UCLA football program. If you haven’t read it I recommend it to get a grasp of the current reality.

  • BruinInSeattle

    I think I would rather have Dan Mullen or Manny Diaz than Mora (who has no charisma and was painful to watch the year he coached in Seattle) or Tressel, who is a crook.

    @Lifelong — that’s why I never comment on BN…it’s crazy how fascist they are.

  • http://http:://www.yahoo.com BruinRob

    I heard through an inside source that a Press Conference has been scheduled for Friday to announce the hiring of our new Head Coach…Jim Mora, and the his assistant Jim Tresel…if this is true, these are two awesome hires…I’m crossing my fingers this is true.

  • Anon

    “And he promises me he would have seen Tressel, had the former Ohio State coach been there.”

    Maybe Tressel was hanging out in the stacks in the Boelter Hall library with the Engineering nerds. Would your guy have seen that? I think not.

  • Lifelong Bruin Fan

    @BruinInSeattle: Yes I would very much like for us to interview Dan Mullen. As for Diaz, I’ve heard the arguments for him but I am hesitant to take on someone without HC experience. Since you are in Seattle you obviously must have a much better sense of Mora–would you mind elaborating a little more about him?

    As for Bruins Nation, you know I’ve visited their site now and again in the past, but after xCRN’s firing I wanted as much info as I could devour and went to their site and signed up. I only lasted a few days before one of the head Brown Shirts came down on me for offering my opinion that Mora would have an advantage in recruiting due to his NFL experience. It’s amazing how they employ the same tactics as fascists of the past. In fact I find their immaturity, poor grammar and writing skills, and inability to intelligently process and interact with other avenues of thought almost comical if it weren’t also at the same time revolting. Honestly I feel quite sorry for them and for those allowing themselves to be led around by the nose while they foment more misguided anger. I suddenly feel much more compassionate towards people who have lived through fascist regimes, so I will still chalk it up as a good experience.

    @BruinRob: ARE YOU SERIOUS??? I repeat, ARE YOU SERIOUS???

    OMG that would be unbelievable. If I may ask how credible is your “inside source?”

  • http://http:://www.yahoo.com BruinRob

    I don’t know how credible, but this person, supposedly has a relative that works in a department at UCLA (I won’t say which one) that this type of contract/negotiation goes through. And also Jon Gold stated somewhere to someone that tomorrow he has very exciting news for us here…so we’ll see. But Tresel is definitively is involved.

  • Sam Burdett

    For the guy that will not buy season tickets if Mora is hired, I’ll buy em and I live in Phoenix.
    The post is very fair but it seems a lot of outspoken fans have picked up a small bit of information from a couple of folks mounting a hate campaign. It’s too bad because the facts show a great potential opportunity (no one is a guarantee). His background is a lifetime of football around quality programs and people like Harbaugh. If you look at his NFL record simply as numbers it’s one thing but if you dig deeper and see he was NFL coach of the year, that his Atlanta record is the second best they’ve ever had (I think I read that encompasses 15 coaches), he improved on Holmgrens last year in Seattle, who his mentors are, and his positive exposure throughout the Pac 12 it is a whole different picture. Maybe he won’t be Carroll. Maybe he will. He sure as hell won’t be Toledo, Dorrell, or Neuheisal revisited.
    So he’s a husky, who cares if he wins.
    BTW folks in Phoenix are ecstatic that ASU pulled the offer to Jones. He’s not the answer

  • Bum Howland

    @BruinRob

    Your comments seemed believable until you wrote, “And also Jon Gold stated somewhere to someone that tomorrow he has very exciting news for us here…”. Jon knows nothing and this search has definitely exposed that.

  • Sam Burdett

    As I read more posts I see a couple of other glaring fabrications. One – the normal performance of a coach NFL vs college is to have a noticeably better college record whether he’s going up or coming down, makes no difference. Secondly, virtually every great NFL coach has had digressions as big or often bigger than Mora. Not most but EVERY – with one possible exception that I haven’t researched.

  • EDD CHINA

    I see some people getting excited about the Mora + Tressel rumor. As cool as it may sound wouldn’t it be best to pick a head coach and let him hire the entire staff? Do we need another forced assistant (ahem Neu/Chow all over again)?

  • http://http:://www.yahoo.com BruinRob

    @Sam, we’ll see.

  • Lifelong Bruin Fan

    @Sam Burdett: I too get the feeling that Mora offers more than what people imagine.

    @BruinRob: Thanks for the additional info. Not sure whether I believe it more or less now…but I guess we’ll find out tomorrow from Jon?

  • Pyperkub

    I actually thought Mora Jr. would be a great candidate when Neu was first hired. He has energy, and a pretty good NFL pedigree, and it seemed as if he would be a great recruiter – the guy used to crack smelling salts open before every game to get up for it. He also got more out of Micheal Vick than any other head coach has.

    However, it’s been a few years since then. Can he still do it? I don’t think it would be a bad hire, provided the interview goes well and he has prepared for the College game.

    Would I have liked Leach? Sure, with reservations. I’d also like to have interviewed Fedora before he went to UNC.

    DG has made a mess of this search, but he could get lucky, as Garrett did with Carroll, after that search looked like a mess.

  • Are You Really Going There?

    @Brock
    @FGUW
    Could you leave Jesus out of this until at least after Christmas?
    It’s just football. Why bring him into this?

  • Lifelong Bruin Fan

    Bruinsball.com has tweeted that UCLA is talking to Art Briles.