UCLA links: Jedd Fisch and the new normal

UCLA interim coach Jedd Fisch talks to his players during the first half of an NCAA college football game against California, Friday, Nov. 24, 2017, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

The UCLA that Jedd Fisch knows has Jim Mora at the head coach position, Tom Bradley at defensive coordinator and Fisch at offensive coordinator. One critical piece has been missing for the past three weeks and it hasn’t felt normal since Mora was fired.

Despite the emotional end to their regular season, Fisch is focused on preparing the Bruins for their final game on Dec. 26 in Phoenix.

“We’ll do everything we can to be fully prepared and ready and put our absolute best foot forward for a great (bowl) game, but I don’t think normalcy will come back,” Fisch said Thursday. “It’ll just be a new normal starting next year.”

Fisch doesn’t know if he’ll be part of that “new normal” under Chip Kelly, though.

More on Fisch, the bridge between the Mora and Kelly eras at UCLA.

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UCLA assistants were third highest-paid Pac-12 staff in 2017

Offensive coordinator Jedd FIsch runs drills at practice. (Photo by Brittany Murray/SCNG)

Offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch was the third-highest paid assistant coach at a public Pac-12 school this year, according to USA Today’s assistant coaching data base, and UCLA’s entire nine-man staff was the third-highest paid in the conference.

Fisch, who signed a two-year deal in January, made $810,000 this year. Only Oregon defensive coordinator Jim Leavitt ($1.15 million) and Washington defensive coordinator Pete Kwiatkowski ($867,500) made more as public-school assistants in the Pac-12.

UCLA’s assistant coaches made more than $3.7 million combined. Washington’s staff was the highest-paid Pac-12 group, making more than $4.67 million, followed by Oregon’s that fell just shy of $4 million.

Here’s a list of UCLA’s assistant salaries and how they stack up to other schools in the Pac-12. (Stanford and USC, the conference’s two private schools, are not included) Continue reading “UCLA assistants were third highest-paid Pac-12 staff in 2017” »

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Three-star LB Matthew Tago decommits from UCLA

Soon after former head coach Jim Mora was fired, Matthew Tago said he was still “committed” to UCLA, but would continue to explore his options. Now the three-star quarterback/linebacker has officially backed out of his UCLA pledge.

Tago, who led Quartz Hills High to a CIF Southern Section Division 10 title at quarterback, is the ninth recruit to decommit from UCLA since the coaching change. He was likely going to play linebacker for the Bruins as he was being recruited by linebackers coach Scott White.

He also has offers from Utah, Colorado, Washington State and USC.

The Bruins are hosting recruits this weekend in the first round of official visits since the coaching chance. Quarterback commit Dorian Thompson-Robinson and Serra athlete Bryan Addison are among the recruits expected to be on campus. Thompson-Robinson still seems to be firmly committed to the Bruins, while Addison, a 6-foot-5, 180-pound four-star prospect ranked as the No. 1 athlete in the country by 247 Sports, posted on Twitter that he will be announcing his choice Sunday. He is also considering Washington, Nebraska, Michigan and Arizona State.

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UCLA cancels men’s basketball game against Montana due to wildfires

A Los Angeles firefighter battles the Skirball fire Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2017, in the Bel-Air area. The blaze prompted the shutdown of the 405 Freeway and burned at least two homes. (Photo by Ed Crisostomo/Los Angeles Daily News)

UCLA canceled its men’s basketball game against Montana at Pauley Pavilion on Wednesday due to concerns about area wildfires.

A fast-spreading wildfire, dubbed the Skirball Fire, began early Wednesday morning in the Sepulveda Pass near the Getty Center, shutting down lanes on the 405 Freeway. It is the fourth fire blazing through Southern California as the Thomas, Creek and Rye Fires burn through Ventura County and the San Fernando Valley.

“The health and safety of student-athletes, staff and fans is our top priority,” the school wrote in a statement provided by the athletic department.

Single-game ticket purchases for the game will be automatically refunded and season-ticket holders will automatically receive a credit for the cost in their UCLA ticket account, the school said.

All other UCLA team workouts and practices scheduled for Wednesday have also been canceled.

The men’s basketball team next plays Saturday against Michigan in Ann Arbor, Mich.

For more updates on all the area wildfires, click here.

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UCLA football cancels practice due to wildfires

UCLA football canceled its practice Wednesday morning due to poor air quality with several wildfires burning in Southern California.

The newest blaze began early Wednesday near the Skirball and Getty Centers along the 405 freeway, only a few miles away from the UCLA campus.

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