In a recent interview with Jon Gold, Coach Mora described the choice he faced when he got to UCLA whether he should simply retain the class assembled under Rick Neuheisel, or whether he should build his own:
"We had a choice with this first class. We could've conceded it and focused all efforts to 2013. We chose to to attack it. If the status quo was OK, I wouldn't be the head coach here, the last guy would. Status quo is unacceptable. Rather than say, oh well, forget this year because we're a year and a half behind, that's not the makeup of this staff. We said lets go, and we've been going."
That quote, in and of itself, shows why Coach Mora has brought so much excitement in his two months on the job. We'll discuss more of the interview, as well as point out how Coach Mora's philosophy is at odds with Chianti Dan's after the jump.
Unfortunately, our AD does not share the same passion for success as Jim Mora. Chianti Dan is OK with the status quo. After our football team got embarrassed in Tucson on national television, Chianti Dan was faced with a choice similar to the one that Coach Mora faced when he arrived in Westwood. However, rather than attacking it, Chianti Dan hid in the corner. Dan witnessed the same debacle that the rest of us did, had the power to make a difference, and did nothing.
Coach Mora went on to discuss three things that he requires in his football team, and they are three things that most people should apply to their everyday lives:
"We're looking for three things; accountability, discipline and toughness. That's our focus and aim in everything we do. To create those things."
What kind of accountability has Chianti Dan shown? He has overseen the worst stretch of UCLA Football in decades. He has sat idly by as our Basketball program has nearly run itself into the ground. What kind of discipline has Chianti Dan shown? What kind of toughness? Dan has failed to make the hard choices. He failed to let go of Coach Neuheisel on time. He failed to conduct an organized coaching search. He failed to secure a temporary home for our men's basketball team.
Finally, there is this perfectly stated line from Coach Mora:
"There will be some who rise to that challenge, and some who won't"
With that, I ask, has Chianti Dan really risen to the challenge? I say no.
Coach Mora, on the other hand, has been everything we could have hoped for so far. Remember, games are played in the Fall, and we should all keep our real expectations in mind. Don't get me wrong, I am as ecstatic as any Bruin over the recruiting momentum and energy that Coach Mora and the assistants have compiled, but coaches are judged by wins and losses on the field, not on the recruiting trail.