I have been among those who have wanted KD gone for some time, and I still do. 13-9 was a "gutty" win, but it continued the water torture for another year.
I also applaud those who have criticized KD objectively, pointing out the frustrating inconsistency of his record, the poor preparation and the continued pitiful performance against inferior teams.
I am bothered, however, by the personal nastiness and characterizations by some towards KD which insult his intelligence, his demeanor or attitude. If I'm honest, I've probably been guilty of this myself in the past.
Now that the writing is on the wall, we all need to cut it out. No one should be happy with anyone's firing, even when that person deserves it. Particularly in this case, no one can question KD's commitment to UCLA or his heart.
The bottom line is that despite his good points: he has cleaned up the program, shown high integrity and his teams usually, not always, play their best against the toughest teams, his overall winning record is one of mediocrity. In other words, there are three primary reasons to fire KD. His record. His record. His record.
With the exception of the 10-2 season [with it's 2 crushing losses and 3-4 miracle wins based on throwing out the game plan in desperation], he is a .500 coach over a five year span. That's just not good enough, or should not be good enough at UCLA, unless one believes that is the best one can expect here by any coach, a premise I find baseless.
We can argue about the reasons for this average record. And that may help in identifying what qualities we seek in the next coach, but the reasons are secondary to the performance on the field by the team, its wins and its losses.
I think the reasons boil down to one. KD has been inflexible. He has committed himself to the WCO all five years under all circumstances even when his numerous coaches and players have not been able to implement it. Nor has he shown flexibility in identifying players or at least experimenting with them in even trying times.
Instead of making his system fit the players, he has tried to make the players fit his system. Bottom line: the players can't play, they can't just be athletes when the system is too complicated or requires too much finesse.
Is there really any question that the Bruins need a simplified offense that let's the players play? I don't think so. Is there any question that Ben Olson is a misfit in the WCO? Is there any question that at some point in their careers Matthew Slater should have been given a chance as a running back or Osaar Rashan given a chance at QB?
These are but the tips of the iceberg that make the KD's lack of flexibility or imagination or experimentation, so mystifying and frustrating.
This is Terry Donahue football at its best/worst. I suffered for 20 years with that man who, again, despite being True Blue, got less out of his soon-to-be NFL players than any UCLA coach in history.
Think about it. How many of the current UCLA players are going on the NFL? Not nearly as many as Terry had. And no, the lesser talent is not a justification for keeping KD; that's on him, too. And the talent has been more than enough to beat the vast majority of our competition.
We've suffered 5 years with TD's replica. He comes frustratingly close to winning games he shouldn't [ASU with an inexplicably inexperienced OR at QB and a walk-on RB] and loses horribly to inferior competition. My head and my heart can't take it any more. Believe me.
Yes, fire KD, for his record, for his record, for his record. Period.