Coaching Search News & Notes

Odysseus and whp68 are already on the story re. Walker interviewing with Tyrone Willingham on the very same day he interviewed for what his supporters claim to be his "dream job" at UCLA. You'd think, for a guy who is campaigning so hard for this "dream job," (to the point his family member is apparently out there negatively campaigning against one of the finalists), he would at least show the courtesy of waiting on his so-called back up plans and do so in a private setting without leaking/flaunting it through the beat press.

From the LA Times today:

Walker, who has been a key figure in the Bruins' recruiting success, is expected to seriously consider the Washington job if Neuheisel is hired by UCLA, a source said. He probably would also meet with Neuheisel. UCLA athletic department officials want to retain Walker, no matter who is hired.

Ooooooh what a threat. If it is not clear to Dan Guerrero by now, Walker has been playing him all along, he is not a big time Athletic Director. I remember earlier during the football season I called out DeWayne Walker as a shameless backstabber. I took a lot of heat for calling out Walker as a backstabber, but the way this Walker saga has played out to me it seems fairly reasonable to speculate that he has been plotting to be the head coach at UCLA even while he was serving as the DC for Karl Dorrell.

Apparently, there was so much plotting going on during the regular season when Walker was working for the only man who ever gave him a shot to be a coordinator at a major D-1 program, that rumors were flying around on the boards that Walker had an OC lined up (rumors has it it was Al Borges, the former fired OC from Auburn), if he were to take over as the HC at UCLA.  This has Lavin/Harrick scenario written all over it. And I will not be surprised if years from now we hear about how Dorrell and Walker are no longer on speaking terms.

And then, of course, there has been the recruiting angle to this sorry story in which Walker supporters (including family members) have advanced an argument with racist undertones that apparently only individuals like him and Scott can enable UCLA to recruit from city schools in Los Angeles. And then there is the not so subtle threat of recruits following Walker wherever he ends up. Just disgusting stuff that reeks of the Todd Bozeman saga in Cal, who IIRC back in the day appeared to have backstabbed his way into the head coaching position of the Cal basketball program.

You'd think if Gene Block and Dan Guerrero have any sense of pride left, they would be turned off by Walker's move to interview with Washington the very same day they granted him the so called coveted second interview. What's funny to me is how its RN who supposedly had the reputation of being a plotter and schemer. But, if last few months have been any indication, it is Mr. Walker himself, who from reports sounds like have been doing a little scheming and plotting of his own. The difference between RN and Walker in this case being one has head coaching experience featuring bowl wins on New Year's Day, while the other has NOTHING.

The silver lining in today's coaching search news actually comes from Dohn, who might have inadvertently slipped out a pretty interesting detail re the coaching search (emphasis mine):

Meanwhile, Philadelphia Eagles defensive backs coach John Harbaugh has not heard from UCLA since he interviewed two weeks ago, fueling belief UCLA is trying to entice other candidates into being interested in the position.

That tidbit dovetails pretty nicely with 66's inference wrt to Golden's withdrawal. 66 speculates that Golden made a classy move by taking his name out of the process as Block made clear to him that UCLA might be heading towards another direction (ala Leach or Jones or RN).

Speaking of candidates with credible resumes, I wanted to share with you guys a list of top-8 candidates put together by Meriones based on an informal poll among the frontpagers on BN.  Here is the list based on submissions from Tydides, Menelaus, Meriones, Odysseus, and yours truly. 8 points for top choice. 1 point lower for each lower choice:

1.  Chris Petersen -- 37 (3 first place votes)
2.  Bronco Mendenhall -- 35 (2)
3.  Mike Leach - 28
4.  June Jones --  25
5.  Jim Grobe - 17
6T.  Rick Neuheisel - 16
6T.  Steve Mariucci - 16
8.  Al Golden - 6

Note we came up with that top-8 before the Bellotti news broke. But I think it gives a pretty good idea on how our candidate choices break down. Mendenhall is still high up there despite his questionable performance in the Vegas Bowl, based on the body of work he has compiled in last three years. Same goes for Petersen.

Obviously Walker didn't get a single vote. And RN is there tied up with Mariucci, and right now in place as more than acceptable choice if it becomes clear that he is the only pragmatic option available to DG.

So right now we can only hope that RN will be our guy, unless DG is waiting on some one like Leach or Jones, who still have bowl games to prepare for in next few days.

As for Walker, as O said, let him go to UDub. He will fit in perfectly there as once again he will be able to play his little games trying to succeed another head coach on the hot seat.

Lastly, notwithstanding who your first choice is, 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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