Neuheisel (Over DeWayne): A Clear Break From Status Quo

So DeWayne apparently had his second interview today. And his shills haven't wasted any time talking up how the interview went great. He must have worn the same suit that Dorrell used to dazzle Carnesale and Guerrero five years ago.

While UCLA was wasting its time giving a second interview to some interim head coach, who never graduated from a real college, SMU of all places was pulling off a clandestine interview with June Jones.

DumpDorrell.com has the update on the latest state of (sad) affairs:

So we are left with Neuheisel and Walker, as far as we know.  Walker had his interview this morning Brian Dohn is reporting.  Walker's camp was immediately out on the boards saying it went great, quoting Chancellor Block no less.  The battle lines are drawn.  If these are the 2 candidates under consideration then it will be clear what UCLA thinks about its football program depending on who they hire.

If we hire inexperienced unproven Walker, with his prancing PR and thugs, we will be signaling once and for all that at UCLA football isn't a priority.  We will hire another cheap inexperienced hire in a long line of cheap inexperienced hires over 40 years.  Champions Made (Near) Here. Walker has also said many times that he wants to be a head coach in the NFL.  Now, he is pimping the line that he wants to stay at UCLA and in LA.  Right.  He also has brought back thuggery to the program as we have already pointed out. Odds are that arrests and on-field and off-field incidents will soon follow.

If UCLA selects Neuheisel then at least we will have chosen for the first time in 40 years an experienced proven winner ... who came a BCS vote away from a national title game at Washington.  Neuheisel has coveted the UCLA job for decades as both a former player and assistant coach.  He wants to coach at the college level. When he says he wants to be at UCLA, it's actually true.  But he carries baggage that could hinder his success.   The pro-Dorrell, pro-Walker beat press will be so soured by losing their 2 picks for head coach that Neuheisel will be an easy target of bias.  There will be little to no goodwill given to Neuheisel ... and the love and fluff pieces of the kind they gave loser Dorrell all the way through this 5th pathetic season of his.
Let me repeat again what I have said before: hiring Walker as the UCLA head coach, will prove Dan Guerrero to be a big fat liar. If he goes that route, not only will that result in a total loss of confidence in his leadership of this athletic program, it will bleed support in terms of ticket sales and financial contributions that will have a ripple effect on other parts of the athletic program.

It is just astounding to me that after twelve years of Lavin and Dorrell, we are even thinking about going the route of hiring another head coach with zero experience of leading a program.

Moreover, this is also about having a clean break from the misery of last several years. As articulated by mike87 in the comment thread:
[W]e need to ERASE the last several years from our program's collective memory.  We need to turn away, decisively, from the Toledo/Dorrell/Walker era.   An era characterized by lowered expectations, and excuse making.  Every loss to a weaker opponent is blamed on injuries, or the players (!) not showing up.  Every underachieving season is blamed on the "highly competitive" nature of the Pac-10, and the need for a little luck.  Every recruit not landed is blamed on the "impossibly high standards" at UCLA.   Yeah, yeah, blah blah.  You make those excuses long enough, they start to sound reasonable, and they become the status quo.  And when underachieving, and losing, become the status quo - it's time to blow things up.

Notice I don't say we need to turn away from the Donahue era.  I respect everyone's frustration here with his ill-advised consulting, but the fact is his teams in the 80's won, and won consistently, and I always felt a measure of confidence going into the season or a bowl game.  Those teams understood winning.   They didn't make excuses.  They were tough, and tellingly, the number of players who went on to the NFL - not just drafted, but excelled - was impressive.

I'm not a Walker basher.  I think he did improve our defense, and for the first time in years, I actually looked forward to watching our D play.  As a former linebacker, I love seeing kids hit, and these kids hit.  That said, he is NOT a HC, and even if he might be one day (I actually think he will) his ties to the Toledo/Dorrell era disqualify him in my opinion.  In my business, when things are stagnant, when you're losing for an extended period, when you've already tried making 'adustment',  you bite the bullet and  clean house.  It's tough, but it's what winners do.

Rick N is not my first choice, but I'm a lot higher on him than most.  The more I read about his past, the more I'm convinced he is/was a loud, charismatic personality who probably confronted and pissed off the decision makers, and they grabbed the first chance they could to embarrass him.   The Rick N I'm enthused about has all the things I think we need most right now:  he's won big, both as a player and a coach, and knows how that feels; he's enough of a personality that I think he'll improve the perception of our team to potential recruits and those covering the program, and I also believe he'll relish the chance to go jaw to jaw with Pete, something the program needs.  But most of all, he NEEDS this job, and he NEEDS to succeed.  It's one thing for a man to WANT to succeed.  That's often a sign of potential success.  But when a man possessed of skill and training NEEDS to win - he usually does.   Rick NEEDS this. And our program desperately needs someone like him.
We are going to know soon enough which way DG will turn. May be he will turn to somewhere else besides RN or Wallker. If it is down to those two, you need to make your voices heard NOW.

If you prefer RN over Walker please email Dan Guerrero at dguerrero@athletics.ucla.edu and Chancellor Gene Block at chancellor@conet.ucla.edu, and let them know respectfully and politely you are ready to welcome Coach Neuheisel back home. If you are an alum or student, please make sure to indicate your graduating class in your emails. As always feel free to post your email in the comment thread to share with rest of BN.

GO BRUINS.
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