A Search That Doesn't Feel So Golden

While the coaching "search" has turned into a complete circus (with constant drum beats of Walker pimping) Dan Guerrero is trying to project his cool in public. From the OC Register:

Athletic Director Dan Guerrero would not confirm a meeting with any candidates, and offered little on the search for a replacement for fired coach Karl Dorrell at a Las Vegas Bowl welcome party.

"The process is moving forward and we hope to have a decision in the near future," he said.
No one knows right now who the next coach is going to be. But I think we can infer DG must really love those Philly cheese-steaks. That's the only explanation I can come up wrt to "candidacy" of Al Golden. Last week we heard the name of some Harbaugh dude from the Philadelphia Eagles, this week we get the name of some no-name college coach from the same town:
Golden, though, has risen quickly as a candidate since the search officially began after Karl Dorrell was fired on Dec. 3. A source said that Golden impressed Guerrero during the initial interview. He and Block were both at the University of Virginia. Golden was the Cavaliers' defensive coordinator from 2001 to 2005 and Block was a long-time professor at Virginia and the university's vice president and provost from 2001 to 2006.

Golden, a former tight end at Penn State, was an assistant at Boston College and Penn State before becoming the youngest defensive coordinator in NCAA Division I-A when Virginia hired him at the age of 32. The Cavaliers' defense went from being ranked 108th among Division I schools in 2001 to 18th in 2004.

At Temple, he took over a program that had not had a winning season since 1990 and had averaged two victories a season in that time. The Owls were dropped from the Big East Conference in 2004 and university officials were considering dropping football.

Golden rebuilt the program's infrastructure and produced a 4-8 record in 2007.
Uh, yeah whatever. Why should we care about how he built up an "infrastructure" in Temple, given the fact how we have been told how Dorrell had built a solid foundation at UCLA?

This candidacy is so absurd, I am not going to spend much time on it. But for someone to compare a Golden to names such as Leach or Mariucci is just comical. I wonder what is so unrealistic about expecting a UCLA administration who has indicated that it wants to make our school relevant in the BCS discussions, will do what it takes to pay up according to existing market to intensely pursue coaches like Leach, who have built nationally prominent program in a place like Lubbock, Texas. I wonder how can one compare a coach like Mariucci, who has already been at the highest level of NFL to some no name dude from Temple, whose resume higlights include moral victories over powerhouse programs such as Connecticut. Can't tell you how insulting it is to see these fans from other schools (a Texas fan no less, who were crying over beatings like Route-66 and had nothing going for him before Mack Brown from Carolina came into town) and try to lecture us on what we should expect or not expect from our ongoing (joke?) search for our next football coach.

Anyway, going back to this Golden dude, of course the reporters need to make sure he can pass the Walker test!:
What is not known is whether a Golden hire would upset the desire of athletic department officials to retain Walker, who, besides improving the Bruins' defense, has been the key to the recruiting resurgence the last two years. Golden has never recruited on the West Coast.
Yeah, I guess only DeWayne Walker knows how to recruit at UCLA. Only Walker has the key to UCLA's recruiting magic. Dohn as usual is on message:
Guerrero wants to keep Walker, a bright defensive coordinator and strong recruiter, on staff. Not only has Walker transformed the Bruins defense from one of the worst in the nation to one of the best in the Pacific-10 Conference, he has proved to be a stellar recruiter.

Walker already interviewed for the head coaching position, and could still meet with Block for a second interview, sources said, but Washington is the first of what could be many schools calling to lure Walker away. Several others schools have already put feelers out to gauge Walker's interest, according to sources.

Walker's first choice is to remain at UCLA, either as the head coach or the defensive coordinator, sources said, but he is not adverse to moving to another school.
I will let you pick that BS apart.

As for Neuheisel he is doing his part for his own PR. From the OC Register (linked above):
In a question-and-answer session with The News Tribune in Tacoma, Wash., Neuheisel addressed concerns about how, if he became the coach at UCLA, he would be received by the NCAA. The former Bruins quarterback and assistant coach won a $4.5 million settlement from Washington and the NCAA after he was fired for his participation in a neighborhood pool on the NCAA Tournament.

"I have worked hard in the last five or six years, knowing that I would one day want to have the opportunity, should it come, to rebuild those relationships," Neuheisel said.

''I am in good stead with the NCAA in terms of there are no pending issues or penalties. I have good relationships with people who are on the other side of the fence when the litigation was taking place.

"Time heals a lot of wounds. And, certainly, I have taken ownership in the thing that I did wrong. I want to hopefully put that in the past."
Well again I am not sure how I want to react to that. I am starting to feel pretty ambivalent about this whole process. Because right now my gut tells me we are being set up for a huge disappointment. My gut tells me we are being taken for a ride as we will strike out on all the names like Leach, Mendenhall, Petersen or Mariucci.  And my gut tells me we will end up Norm Chow as the head coach and Walker as the DC, essentially ending up with two co-head coaches for next 3-5 years. And we will go through the same routine like we did for last five years: sit back and watch what the new regime does in first two years before realizing how we are watching a remake of the same movie all over again.

This is why when we launched this blog back in 2004, we threw out the name "Bruins Nation," because we felt (or at least I did) that being a addict of UCLA athletics meant being subjected to same writhing agony, pain, and frustration experienced by a certain baseball fan base from New England (yeah even as a Yankee fan I could relate to that agony as a UCLA football fan).

May be last twenty years of UCLA football has made me pessimist by nature (when it comes to CFB at least). And I am crossing my fingers that DG turns out to TY of college football and prove me dead wrong. But right now I am not seeing a happy ending to this "golden" process.

GO BRUINS.
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