Jim Mora: ‘I have not made any overtures towards any NFL teams’

In what has seemingly become an annual tradition, Jim Mora has again dismissed talk that he might leave his position as UCLA head coach.

This time, Mora squashed speculation that he had any intention of leaving the Bruins to return to the NFL — with the most recent reports indicating that he had agreed to an interview with the New York Jets. On Tuesday morning, he reaffirmed his commitment to UCLA during an appearance on the Rich Eisen Show. (The relevant segment starts at around 7:10 in the above video.)

“I think it’s always a compliment to your program and the success that your program is having, when other people mention you — whether it’s real or fabricated,” Mora said. “I’ve never wavered from saying that I’m very happy at UCLA. I love college football, and I love coaching the UCLA Bruins. I have not made any overtures towards any NFL teams. My agent hasn’t.

“As a matter of fact, I was in my office yesterday, and one of the assistant coaches came in and said, ‘I thought you were in New York. I read that you were in New York.’ … Unless this studio has now floated its way to New York, I’m here.”

As he has several times in his three-year tenure, Mora again talked about how much he enjoys coaching at the college level following his 24-year career as an NFL assistant and head coach.

“I love college football,” he said. “I really do. I think that it fits me very, very well. I relate well to the players. I think they appreciate the emotion and the passion that I coach with. I love UCLA. I think we’ve been able to do some good things. I love the young men that I coach. When you make a commitment in recruiting to the family of the players that you’re recruiting — you say ‘I’m going to be your coach’ — I take that seriously. I do. I take that very seriously. It’s not something that I want to run out on.

Mora also talked about a number of other topics, including his postgame handshake with Kansas State head coach Bill Snyder in last week’s Alamo Bowl (3:25), what he thought of the picked up flag in the Lions-Cowboys game (8:45), who he thinks has the best chance of winning the Super Bowl (10:30), and how good he thinks Marcus Mariota will be in the pros (13:20).