I have never been big fan of Terry Donahue, the former UCLA football coach, who is basically the godfather of mediocre Karl Dorrell. Donahue was a mediocre football coach at best who never got the best out of blue chip talents the UCLA football program stockpiled during the 80s. He was able to stick around Westwood for so long back in the 80s and 90s, because back then we Bruin fans did not have avenues to express the latent frustrations we were experiencing from constant chokes and let downs of the Donahue coached football program. Sure he took the Bruins to the Rose Bowl in 94, and ended with a 5 game winning streaking against those SCumbags from cross town, people still seem to forget he was responsible for the incredible letdown of hugely favored Bruin football team experience against the Badgers at our home turn back in 94.
Not only that, Donahue was an insecure head coach who was never confident in his abilities. So much so he did not have the balls to promote Neuhisel from wide-receivers coach to OC, when Homer Smith left the OC position for the second time in 1994, right after the Rose Bowl. Instead of promoting Neuhisel, Donahue decided to hire Bob Toledo, a loser OC from R.C. Slocum's Texas A&M program, who was never going to be a threat to TD, unlike Neuhisel.
Anyways, why I am writing about Donahue today? Well check out this Jill Painter profile on UCLA's poor man's version of Lloyd Carr (sorry Joey we feel your pain brother), who is about to get inducted into the "Hall of Fame" of a bowl game no one in the country (except for bunch of nerds in the Big-10 and Dorrell's family, friends, and some delusional UCLA fans who still think UCLA will experience glory under KD) gives a rat ass about. If you need a real picture/perspective on Donahue, check out this Ray Ratto piece on Dorrells' godfather, who after leaving UCLA in mediocre shape, became the general manager of the San Francisco 49ers, and played a premier role in the ruining of one of the gold franchises in the NFL. Ratto's piece on Donahue after he was fired based upon an ugly video tape scandal should bring anyone back to reality if he or she has any delusions about Donahue being some kind of football genius (emphasis mine and full disclosure - yes, I am a Niners fan):
Therein lies the 49ers' truest regret.
Oh, they're not happy about having crossed Mayor Gavin Newsom at a time when they're trying to get him to cozy up to the idea of a new stadium. Putting your political clout in a PR vise is no way to keep him as your political clout.
Still, if you could get Tortoise-Shell Johnny to admit to his greatest sin, it was hiring Donahue in the first place.
That is, unless the master plan was to deface the brand name to Eddie DeBartolo-Hires-Joe Thomas levels.
Donahue helped make Bill Walsh inert in the 49er hierarchy (with York's active connivance). He spent a huge chunk of his time as general manager in Southern California, where the burdens of the work ethic would not unduly weigh upon him. He made personnel decisions that made your eyelids bleed.
Mostly, he spent his time in San Francisco taking care of himself.
Donahue has denied sending the tape to The Chronicle, but his denial is no more convincing than his assurances that he could fix the team. There is no incontrovertible proof that he did it, but circumstances point with neon- intensity toward him as the prime suspect. He had means (he'd had the tape for months), motive (he was angry at York for having fired him, and was all but convinced that public relations director/nascent movie producer Kirk Reynolds helped to get him fired), and having been fired in January eight months after his contract was extended, he had five months' worth of opportunity.
But even if you want to go with innocent-until-proven-treacherous, you still have the fact that because Donahue knew about the tape months earlier, he is at the very least as complicit as York. If Donahue had a problem with the tape, he could have killed it at the time, and if he didn't know about it, he should have.
In other words, Donahue hurt the 49ers coming, he hurt them while he was there, and he hurt them going. When you put it that way, he was even worse than Joe Thomas.
So there you have it. Dorrell learned everything about how to be a mediocre coach from none other than Typhoid Terry Donahue - a backstabbing insecure tool who is always out for himself, as he had no qualms of throwing his former star quarterback, eventual protégé, Neuhisel under the bus, when it became clear that Skippy could become a threat to Donahue's mediocre, lackluster, uninspirational, boring, brand of football.
To sum it up, Typhoid Donahue was a joke, and is still a joke. And one has to shudder to think now we are stuck with a loser like Dorrell, who is not half the head coach Donahue was.
Have mercy on the Bruin Nation.