Coaching Search News & Notes

Let’s get back to coaching search. The Neu train continues to gather ‘momentum’ in Westwood:

Former UCLA quarterback Rick Neuheisel was in Los Angeles on Tuesday to meet with the school's chancellor, Gene Block, as part of a second interview for the vacant football head coaching position, sources said.

A key piece of the meeting was expected to be how Neuheisel explained what happened, and what he learned, after the University of Colorado was put on probation because of NCAA rules infractions that took place when he coached the Buffaloes.

Another integral part is that UCLA defensive coordinator DeWayne Walker told several people he might stay if Neuheisel was named coach, sources said. Athletic director Dan Guerrero has told people he wants to keep Walker on staff, if Walker is not the new coach.

Neuheisel is being pushed heavily by several influential boosters and by a large contingent of former players, who believe he is the charismatic personality needed to compete in recruiting with personable USC coach Pete Carroll.

"I think Rick would be a great choice," said Matt Stevens, a former UCLA quarterback and the color analyst on radio broadcasts. "He's a former player, and he could retain DeWayne Walker. They would make a great offensive-defensive combo.

"I think it speaks volumes that UCLA wants to retain DeWayne Walker as a defensive coordinator because he's such an integral part, not only calling the defense but brining in the recruits."
As I have said already while I am not going to dismiss the idea of Neuheisel at UCLA, I am not going to jump on the train either. I actually don’t like how tools like Matt Stevens who stood by Karl Dorrell all those years are pimping Neuheisel. And I also don’t like how once Walker is sounding like a shameless, desperate figure who is telling people who he can work with making it sound like, the UCLA candidates are being vetted through him. I just don’t like the sound of that at all.

All along I have wanted a total clean break from the previous football regimes at UCLA. Not sure if bringing in an alum who has such strong ties to the Donahue cult can achieve that. Furthermore, at this point I would rather have a coach who is strong enough leader that he doesn’t need a character like DeWayne Walker around to rebuild our program.

The only way I will think about accepting Neuheisel is if it is made clear that DG made a sincere and earnest effort to pursue coaches such as Petersen, Leach or Mendenhall. But right now Neuheisel is only acceptable if he is an option among uninspiring and unacceptable choices such as CHOKER, Walker or some no name with "impressive bloodlines."

Luckily for us, we have the internets. And we can get scrap of info from other places besides the Daily News or the LAT. Dienhart from TSN has new info as linked up in the comment thread by Odysseus:
A source also says that a head coach from a non-BCS school will be at UCLA on Wednesday to discuss the opening that was created when Karl Dorrell was fired.

Another one who may be in the mix: Temple coach Al Golden.
Who could that be? Petersen, Jones, Todd Graham (Tulsa) and Steve Kragthorpe?

Kragthorpe brings me to this diary from rye linking up Simers column today in which he ‘reports’ that DG is "talking now to Steve Kragthorpe." That would be interesting, but remember as I have noted before Kragthorpe’s first season at Louisville has been a disaster partly because he was forced to retain assistants from the previous regime. If all that talk about how retaining Walker is a condition precedent for the next coach from DG’s pov, why would he take the time to talk to Kragthorpe? Oh yeah, and I think Kragthorpe would be a great hire if he can come in and build the program with his own staff.

So it looks like lot more drama is yet to be played out in this search. I am starting to enjoy this just a little because I am hoping and praying that more days go by, the less likely it becomes that either Walker or CHOKER will be the next head coach of UCLA football. I know we have a football game this weekend. If you want to read the notes on it Foster has some tidbits in the LAT’s report. But I could care less about a football game, which absolutely should have no bearing on either the short team or long term prospect of this football program. Just like in our last game when we went through the motions at the Coliseum, we will be going through the motions while watching another pathetic and meaningless, pre X-mas bowl, which will have no meaningful in the national scene of college football.

The only thing matters right now is keeping an eye on the coaching search, which should not result in either CHOKER or Walker, and which should hold Neuheisel only as an option of last resort.

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