It has been discussed for a long time how poorly out athletic department is run. Dan really messed this one up by not firing Neuheisel after Arizona and taking a real run at Leach, Rich Rod, or Golden, and the only names that are currently being associated with our vacant head coaching job are either uninspiring or laughable. Dan had the idea in his head that Petersen would have said yes if we just offered a lot of money to him and for assistant coaches. He failed to address the glaring need for facilities upgrades and ultimately led to Petersen saying no. He then went to Houston to chase a guy who is just a flavor of the month and has yet to prove himself as a good recruiter, or good coach without Keenum or Sam Bradford. He then made an attempt to lure Golden away from Miami after he signed an extension with them just 5 days after our pathetic showing in Tuscon. I think it is becoming clear that no matter what happens, it will not end well and will most likely set us back another 3-4 years. My question is considering who will be making this hire and the situation that we are in now, what should we do?
Dan Guerrero's incompetence has been on full display throughout this football season from his failure to fire Rick, and failed attempts at luring coaches thus far. The names currently being floated around and gaining the most steam are Mike Bellotti, June Jones, and Jim Mora Jr. I think it is safe to say that none of them will be inspiring or good hires for our program. I think there are good coaches out there and here is my list of desired candidates. Blueband wrote a great piece on why Dan Mullen should be hired. The problem is that none of these names are being associated with UCLA and there is no sign that we have even reached out them. To go over why we are in this situation I think is pointless because Guerrero has screwed this up so badly I don't think it is worth hashing out. Instead I think we should focus on where we go from here. It doesn't appear that Block will be firing Guerrero between now and the time that we would hire a coach. We are one coach shy of the golden sombrero, are targeting lame head coaches now, and there really appears to be no signs of promise in this whole process.
When thinking about the long term success of our football program, would it be best to hire one of Mora, Jones, or Bellotti? I think the overwhelming answer among the community would be no. It doesn't appear that Dan will all of a sudden go out and target some great options out of the blue as he has shown no ability to even identify who that would be. So maybe it would be best that we retain Mike Johnson for a year as an interim coach, and hope that Guerrero is gone by the end of next season and will not be around to make the next hire. I am not saying this is the best option, I'm just saying that it appears as long as Guerrero is in charge, there are no good options. The truth is that at the moment, I don't think any of us know what is best for the program because that is where Guerrero has left us. I hate the idea of an interim coach for a year but considering the alternatives being linked to UCLA, is one year of mediocrity worse then four? At least there would be hope after next year for a new AD and have him hire a good coach, as opposed to four years of not getting to where we need to be. I completely understand those who say conceding a year with our talent coming back is not an option, but that same talent can buy someone like Mora four more years, or even Johnson four years which is not what any of us want. I think that this is a case of the devil you know vs. the devil you don't, and I don't know which case is better.
I think that BruinsNation does have a good deal of influence which was displayed with the Pauley seating arrangement, Veto Seto, as well as other issues that we have faced in recent history. I think that the people who monitor us and recognize our voice are in fact in the Morgan Center which is run by non other then Dan Guerrero himself. He will obviously not fire himself despite seeing that we are clamoring for his job, and while I support turning the heat up on Chancellor Block, I think that there is another way for us to get more control and influence in this coaching search. I think that this may be the time to get united behind a candidate, or a list of candidates and really push them. I think that if we are all united and push it hard, that the Morgan Center will listen just like they did with the Pauley Seating and Veto Seto. I understand it is against BN policy at the moment, but it just a suggestion to use BN as a vehicle to get what we all want, which is a thriving football program. Not an indictment at all on the policy as I understand how hard it is to get this many people organized and on the same page, but I think that the power BN has is something that could turn this joke of a coaching search into a success.