It took a while, but UCLA has found its man.
Sources indicated early Saturday morning that UCLA is set to hire former Seattle Seahawks and Atlanta Falcons head coach Jim L. Mora as its new head coach, with an introduction planned for early next week.
In a wild coaching search that had an abundance of twists and turns, sources said on Friday that communication had waned with Mora and that the search would continue, with Washington head coach Steve Sarkisian and Cincinnati Bengals offensive coordinator Jay Gruden among candidates. But reports filtered in throughout late Friday that Mora was back in play with the Bruins and it appears the 12-day search has concluded.
This, after UCLA showed previous interest in Boise State head coach Chris Petersen and Houston head coach Kevin Sumlin before being rebuffed.
Mora last coached at the college level in 1984 as a graduate assistant at Washington, where he played defensive back from 1980-83. After a lengthy career as an NFL assistant coach, Mora took over for Atlanta in 2004, guiding the Falcons to an 11-5 record an appearance in the NFC championship game. Mora went 15-17 for the Falcons the following two seasons and was fired and spent one season with the Seahawks in 2009, going 5-11. He has served as an NFL analyst since then and is expected to join the team once he finishes his broadcasting duties.
Interim head coach and offensive coordinator Mike Johnson coached with Mora in Atlanta in 2004-05, serving as quarterbacks coach for Michael Vick. Johnson is reportedly set to interview for the Akron head coaching position next week.