Ed. note: I’m taking a retrospective look at what eventually doomed the Rick Neuheisel era. He obviously did not lack a passion for the job, but questionable decisions and cruel twists of fate – and knees – led to his dismissal from his alma mater. I take a look back at a dozen of the pivotal moments that eventually sealed Neuheisel’s fate.
2. Hiring Norm Chow and then not giving him the reins
When Neuheisel brought offensive guru Norm Chow in to join defensive wiz DeWayne Walker as coordinator, folks around UCLA were calling it a coaching dream team. What a nightmare. Walker was gone in a year and while Neuheisel and Chow have both downplayed any “chemistry issues” in the media, to be certain, there were issues. Neuheisel never ceded full control of the offense to Chow, and their back-and-forth instruction with quarterbacks caused mass confusion. Eventually Chow was jettisoned after three years after the ill-fated switch to the Pistol offense doomed the passing game.