Jim Mora: ‘I’ve never really wavered’ on dedication to UCLA

UCLA head coach Jim Mora prior to a NCAA college football game against UCLA in the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles, on Saturday, Nov. 28, 2015. (Photo by Keith Birmingham/ Pasadena Star-News)

UCLA head coach Jim Mora suggested that talk of him returning to the NFL could be generated by his competitors. (Keith Birmingham/Staff)

Jim Mora reaffirmed his dedication to UCLA on Thursday afternoon, dismissing any talk of him returning to the NFL as “rumors and innuendo.”

“I’ve never really wavered,” he said on AM 570. “It’s interesting that people question that still.”

Appearing on the Petros and Money Show, Mora said that he has demonstrated “beyond reproach” his commitment to the Bruins. After finishing his fourth season in Los Angeles with an 8-5 record and a loss to Nebraska in the Foster Farms Bowl, the 54-year-old had been connected to the Miami Dolphins’ coaching search. On Sunday, NFL Network’s Mike Silver reported that both Mora and Texas A&M’s Kevin Sumlin are “trying hard” to get back to the pros.

Mora suggested that such talk may be generated by his competition to gain an edge in recruiting.

“I think it’s flattering not only to me, but to our program, that rumors are out there,” he said. “But at the same time, they’re just rumors.”

Mora also denied that UCLA offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone — whose contract was set to expire in June — is heading to Texas A&M. ESPN’s Joe Schad reported that Mazzone left College Station today to “think over” the Aggies’ offer.

“There is no confirmed validity to the rumor that Noel is leaving,” Mora said. “He may, but he may not. I would hope that by the end of the day, we’ll know one way or the other.”

UPDATE: Mazzone has finalized his three-year deal with Texas A&M, per ESPN.

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  • LTEfan

    Mike Silver is a fanatical Berkeley alum. Why would he put out false rumors to hurt UCLA’s football program?

  • heritagehole

    Typical scum tactic…..

  • BruinBob

    Shoddy journalism by Mike Silver.

  • Just Owns

    This is terrible. Mora is staying and wants to keep Mazzone. How is this possible. Is Mazzone some sort of a nuclear cockroach, immune to eradication?

    • commentar

      He didn’t say he wanted to keep Mazzone. Just that we’ll know soon. I think it’s coachspeak for I’m Not At Liberty To Say.

      • EncinitasBruin

        Exactly. “Per the advice of counsel…”

  • UCLA Dynasty

    Just like last year, people always trying to hurt our recruiting with wild rumors. Just ask Coach Ulbrich.

    • gotroy22

      LOL! How does that recruit feel now that his head coach got canned?

  • EncinitasBruin

    Okay, in regard to Mazzone, I feel like the old man in Moonstruck: I’m so confused! So… He’s not leaving for TAMU?

    • 88 Straight

      I don’t care if he goes to aTm. I just care that he leaves!

    • Rick W

      Sorry for the confusion. It’s apparently not a done deal yet, as I am going by the same news as you are, but it seems to be

      • EncinitasBruin

        Oh, not your doing. Rumors been flying around everywhere. Heck, ESPN reported his departure as fact. Should all be cleared up by Monday, I’d think, and my money is that Mazzone is already getting fitted for his Aggie gear.

  • Rick W

    I’d like to trust Coach Mora, I really would. But he is very good with the media. I hope he is at ucla for a long time because of the incredible things he’s done for the team in the last few years, but I just don’t believe what he’s saying. I wish I could trust him but I just don’t.

    In the meantime, I would not be disappointed if Coach Mazzone goes to A&M.

    • EncinitasBruin

      Why don’t you trust him? I’m just curious. Do you think it’s because you think he’s always going to be angling for the better deal? I do actually trust him–but I think he’s very shrewd.

      • Rick W

        He is very shrewd, which is why I can’t trust him. Why would you tell your employer you are looking elsewhere until you have found a new position? As I said, I want to trust him, but seeing how he acts when on camera, I cannot. He knows how to deal with and manipulate people. I’m not sure he’s looking for the next best thing right now–he has a really sweet situation where he is–but you never know…

      • Just Owns

        Bozo U 40
        UCLA 21

        Mora’s wasn’t shrewd enough to formula a plan b, c, or d for the game. UCLA had the horses to beat Bozo U, but didn’t have a HC willing to prepare his team for the game.

  • Sam Bam

    Ok Jim whatever you say.

  • 92104bruinfan

    Unless the program falls off the cliff, I don’t think Mora is going anywhere anytime soon. He lives in Manhattan Beach, makes a solid 7 figures, goes to work in Westwood, new football facilities in the works and has one of the premier quarterbacks for at least the next 2 seasons. Not to say he wouldn’t entertain a return to the NFL at some point down the road but he has a good thing going right now. Go Bruins!

    • EncinitasBruin

      Spot on. Lifestyle vs Career. He already has both.