Former UCLA coach Rick Neuheisel wasn’t happy with Jim Mora calling his old Bruin teams “soft.” (Keith Birmingham/Staff)
On Tuesday, Jim Mora decided to explain the genesis of how he turned around the UCLA football program.
Appearing on The Herd with Colin Cowherd on FOX Sports 1, the Bruins’ current head coach described his first interview with athletic director Dan Guerrero back in December 2011.
“I’m thinking, ‘What do I say here?'” Mora said. “Do I tell him the truth or something like it’s a great school and we can be great? I said, ‘I think you’re soft. I think the football team is soft.’ Dan said, ‘That’s what I think, and we need to toughen it up.'”
This is not an entirely new story. Both Mora, who just completed his fourth season with the Bruins, and several players have told some version of it in the past — usually by describing the program’s culture in broader strokes rather than recalling a specific exchange. This iteration, however, was enough to set off former UCLA coach Rick Neuheisel.
On Wednesday, the 55-year-old lashed out at Mora during his own radio show on SiriusXM.
“All he did was go and paint the walls black and wear black on the sideline, and thinks that that’s tough,” Neuheisel said. “I’ve been in the locker room. There’s all sorts of stuff about Sun Tzu, and The Art of War, and pain and all that kind of stuff. He takes the team to Navy SEAL training. Congratulations. I’m glad you had the money to do it. But don’t talk about toughness with my football team. I’ll go to war with anyone.” Continue reading