Bumped from the diaries. Rye posted this on late Sat. night. This initial list (although we have posted a number of them before) deserve lot more attention and feedback today. GO BRUINS. -N
With the (hopefully) impeding firing of Karl Dorrell, now is a good time to take a peak at possible replacements. I only considered those with head coaching experience or assistants who have been a coordinator for at least 5 seasons. Some of these are bigger names, however we all know UCLA does not like to pay their coaches so there are a couple smaller names that we should take a look at if we aren't willing to pay.
HC- Bronco Mendenhall...BYU (40 years old)
In his first season as BYU head coach, Mendenhall took a program that had not enjoyed a winning season since 2001 and put together a 6-5 regular-season record, a second-place finish in the Mountain West Conference standings and earned a trip to a bowl game for the first time in three seasons. Building on the success of his first-ever season as a head coach, Mendenhall and the Cougars posted a 10-2 record in 2006, winning the outright Mountain West Conference Championship with a perfect 8-0 record. An Oregon St. graduate, he returned to OSU in 1989 as a graduate assistant. He also spent 2 years at N. Arizona as secondary coach where they had the top ranked defense in the Big Sky. He was then promoted to DC where his defense as again the best in the conference. He spent time at 3 different schools before landing a gig in New Mexico as a defensive coordinator where he was key in the development of Brian Urlacher and had one of the conferences best defenses. His biggest fault as a potential UCLA head coach is the lack of ties he has to Southern California. He has never coached in the state and has very few players on his roster from the Golden State.
HC- Gary Patterson....TCU (47)
A graduate of Kansas St., Patterson has turned TCU into a nation program since taking over in 2001. Patterson has put together four 10 win seasons in the last five years when no other coach in TCU history has more than two 10-win campaigns. His TCU program is one of only five teams in the nation to record three 11 win seasons in the last four years. An 11-2 record in 2006 included wins over Big 12 opponents Baylor and Texas Tech as well as a 37-7 victory over Northern Illinois in the San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl. The Frogs' defense ranked second nationally in run defense (60.8 yards per game) and total defense (234.9 yards per game) while placing third in scoring defense (12.3 points per game). The defensive unit, with nine starters returning in 2007, posted its best numbers in all three categories during Patterson's time as head coach. After serving as a graduate assistant at Kansas St., he had assistant jobs at a number of programs before earning himself a defensive coordinator position at New Mexico in 1996. He turned down an offer from Minnesota that would have paid him $2 million per season so luring him to Westwood could be tough.
HC- Chris Peterson...Boise St. (42)
The Boise St. head coach is one of the hottest young coaches in the nation following the Broncos undefeated season in 2006 and win in the Fiesta Bowl. This was in his 1st year as a head coach after having been offensive coordinator for the 5 prior years at Boise St. Petersen began his coaching career in 1987 as the head freshman coach at UC-Davis. In 1989 he became the receivers coach for the varsity, departing in 1992 to become the quarterbacks coach at Pitt. He moved back west in 1993 to coach the quarterbacks at Portland State, and moved over to the University of Oregon in 1995 as the receivers coach. Peterson is the most sensible candidate for the Bruins as he has proven himself and has connections to the west, however he is likely to be tough to lure to Westwood, especially with the salary UCLA usually pays.
DC- John Tenuta...Georgia Tech (49)
The current Georgia Tech defensive coordinator is one of the premier DC's in the nation. GT's defenses have been in the top 25 in total defense, scoring defense, rushing defense and pass efficiency defense in both of the past 2 seasons. Tetuna also spent a season as DC at North Carolina where his Tar Heel defense was statistically, the best in the ACC. He does not have any apparent strong connections to assist in recruiting however.
DC- Will Muschamp...Auburn (36)
This current Auburn defensive coordinator is a former Georgia safety. He was the DC at LSU in '03 where his defense led the nation in scoring defense. He also spent a year with Nick Saban as the defensive assistant head coach with the Miami Dolphins. He has also served as linebackers coach at LSU and his Auburn defense is currently one of the best in the nation. His connections in the south should bring in recruits from the fertile south.
HC- Ron Prince...Kansas St. (37)
Prince succeeded Bill Snyder at Kansas State following the 2005 season. When he coached his first season at Kansas State he was the third youngest head coach in the nation. In 2006, Prince led Kansas State to its first winning record since 2003 with a 7-6 mark, as well as a berth in the inaugural Texas Bowl. The hallmark win of the regular season was a 45-42 upset of then-fourth-ranked University of Texas on November 11, 2006. Before going to Kansas St., Prince spent 3 years as the offensive coordinator at Virginia. Prince has no connections to the west coast, in fact Kansas St. is the farthest west he has coached.
DC- Mike Trgovac...Carolina Panthers (40)
He is the current defensive coordinator for the Carolina Panthers. Born near Youngstown, Ohio, Trgovac was an All-American noseguard at the University of Michigan before starting his NFL coaching career. Since taking over as defensive coordinator in 2002, the Panthers rank fifth in total yards allowed, trailing only Tampa Bay, Pittsburgh, Baltimore and Denver. They are also sixth in first downs allowed and rushing yards allowed per attempt, ninth in rushing yards allowed per game and 10th in third down efficiency. Trgovac coached at Michigan following graduation and also coached at Ball St., Navy, Notre Dame and Colorado St. In the NFL, he has also been an assistant in Philadelphia, Green Bay and Washington.
HC- Jim Leavitt...USF (50)
The current head coach at South Florida, he took over the program in 1997 when the program was in 1-AA. He has taken the program up to 1-A and Conference USA to its current place in the Big East. Leavitt has led the program to an impressive 61-39 record. A mega-success in the first four years at the I-AA level (24 straight weeks in national polls)., he has the Bulls now in contention for the Big East title and has garnered national respect after a bowl win in 2006 and a crucial win over Auburn in 2007. The Missouri graduate has been heavily pursued by a number of teams, including Kansas St. and Alabama, who went as far to send him a contract for him to sign, however he has remained committed to the Tampa team he has built.
HC- Greg Brandon...Bowling Green (50)
Brandon was hired as the head coach at Bowling Green in 2002 following the departure or Urban Meyer and has kept up the level of success established within the program. He led Bowling Green to back to back bowl wins in his 1st two seasons for only the 2nd time in school history. In his first season the Falcons finished #23 in the country and finished ranked in his 2nd season, the first time in school history they finished consecutive seasons ranked. Brandon was hired after more than than 22 years of coaching experience at the