Welcome Home Coach Neuheisel

As I mentioned earlier on Saturday, I am traveling early this am. But I couldn't go to sleep without getting in my fill of Neuheisel stories. And I thought I'd share what I read with rest of you. So this is a very quick roundup. So one more time:

WELCOME HOME COACH NEUHEISEL:


Photo credit: Stuart Wong / Associated Press (via the LA Times)

Yeap, that was Coach Neuheisel back in 1996 with CU after he was done demolishing Belloti's Quacks in the Cotton Bowl. BTW Coach Neuheisel is 4-1 against Mike Bellotti. Just thought I drop that note in there.

Anyway here are some of today's clips to get you started. From the LA Times:

As a head coach in college, Neuheisel amassed a record of 66-30 in eight seasons, four at Colorado and four at Washington. His teams went to seven bowl games and won four. (Colorado later was forced to forfeit five victories for NCAA violations.)

"Rick has enjoyed great success throughout his career and we believe he is the coach who can take our program to the next level," Athletic Director Dan Guerrero said in a statement. "His teams at Colorado and Washington continually challenged for conference championships and national rankings and that is what we are looking to do at UCLA.

"Rick is an outstanding coach and recruiter. He is outgoing and personable and can motivate our players, fans and supporters. We believe he is well equipped to lead the program and attain the success all Bruin fans wish to achieve."

"I know there are some issues in Rick's past that concern our constituency. We have discussed those at length with Rick and have investigated those issues with the NCAA. It has been at least five years and, in some cases, more than 10 years since the incidents occurred. We believe Rick has learned from those incidents and that he is more mature and experienced in the areas of compliance."

Let's follow that up with Dohn in the DN, who sounds like a gilted gf:
Neuiheisel, the offensive coordinator for the Baltimore Ravens, will be introduced at a Monday press conference.

Also, sources said defensive coordinator DeWayne Walker, one of the finalists for the job, is leaning toward staying with the program, which could be a coup considering he was the mastermind behind a strong recruiting class. He has a two-year offer from Washington to be the defensive coordinator.

Athletic director Dan Guerrero said he wanted a head coach with experience, and he gets one in Neuheisel, who spent eight years as leading the programs at Colorado and Washington.

Of course Walker is now leaning towards staying. So much for all the threat. For his part Coach Neuheisel is taking the classy route. From Dennis Dodd of Sportsline.com (via DumpDorrell.com):
Have you talked to defensive coordinator DeWayne Walker? I have told Dan that DeWayne Walker is my No. 1 recruit. I was very, very impressed with the defense he played the last couple of years. I know he's coveted. I know he's a sought-after guy. It's important we do everything to make him feel welcome
I also thought this bit from Dodd is interesting to say the least:
I told you (and apparently Danny G) about this two weeks ago. Neuheisel was the best and only hire UCLA could make at this point; an alum to rally everyone (boosters, fans, players) back to battle stations, because at last check that dynasty crosstown was wiping the floor with Bruin blood.
More positive feedback from RealFootball365.com:
UCLA gains a proven head coach of major college football programs with an outstanding record of success on the field. He should be a huge shot in the arm to QBs Pat Cowan and Ben Olson in their senior year in Westwood. UCLA supporters are divided over this hire, but once the Bruins begin winning consistently, Neuheisel's detractors will fade into the shadows.
Also the same kind note from Pete Fiutak of collegefootballnews.com:
Forget about all the problems and all the past issues; Neuheisel has paid his penance and should've been coaching at a major program long ago instead of serving as the quarterbacks coach for the Baltimore Ravens over the last three years. He knows how to win, he knows how to be successful, and he knows how to coach. More importantly for UCLA at the moment, he's knows UCLA and is the type of hire who'll get the crowd moving.

Unlike Bo Pelini at Nebraska and Mike Sherman at Texas A&M, Neuheisel is a proven winner who'll be able to go toe-to-toe with USC when it comes to recruiting, and he'll be able to win his share of big-time battles for talent. Just as important to a fan base tired of being in the backseat when it comes to USC on the sports pages, Neuheisel will be able to handle the attention and the spotlight as one of the few coaches in America who can match up with Carroll when it comes to media relations and public relations. The days of the stoic Karl Dorrell are over.
Pete does take a cheap baseless shot wrt Sam Gilbert, which we will deal with another day. But can't really disagree with those comments on RN. On that note let's round it up with the OC Register:
"I am thrilled to be returning to my alma mater as its head coach," said Neuheisel. "UCLA is a special place and I want to thank Dan Guerrero and Chancellor (Gene) Block for the opportunity to come home. We are going to build a program our supporters will be proud of, both on and off the field. I can't wait to get started. I made some mistakes earlier in my career and I take responsibility for those mistakes. I have learned from that experience and I would never do anything that would reflect negatively on UCLA."

Neuheisel, 46, spent the last three seasons as an assistant coach for the NFL's Baltimore Ravens. He served as quarterbacks coach in 2005 and 2006 and in January of 2007, was promoted to offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach. With the Ravens, he worked with quarterbacks Kyle Boller, Steve McNair and, most recently, 2006 Heisman Trophy winner Troy Smith.

During his four seasons (1999-2002) as head coach at the University of Washington, Neuheisel led the Huskies to a record of 33-16 (.673) and four bowl games (one Rose Bowl, two Holiday Bowls and one Sun Bowl). His Pac-10 record was 23-9 (.719) and Washington won one league title and finished second twice in those four seasons. The Husky offense averaged over 390 yards per game in each season, topped by 420.7 in 2002 (17th in the nation) and 407.9 in 2000 (35th).

Let me summ up those three grafs one more time: Bruins are getting a coach who has 8 years of experience of head coach at high D-1 level and three years of high level coordinator experience in the pros. In other words this is not exactly the hiring of a Farmer, Hazzard, Lavin, Toledo or Karl Dorrell. This is a little difference.

Also here is the quickfire AP recap.

I am sure there will be lot more to chew over in the coming days. But I am just happy and relieved Dan Guerrero and Gene Block made the right choice among their final choices.

As mentioned up top, I will be traveling most of the day. But I will try to sneak in and put up a special post from Bruin Blue sometime tomorrow. Enjoy

GO BRUINS.
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