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All Eyes on Dan Guererro

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Shortly after the dismissal of Karl Dorrell, UCLA AD Dan Guererro took the podium and discussed the context for the search for Dorrell's replacement. We posted some snippets from the presser at the time. In light of the constantly dissapointing news coming out of the various media outlets, I think its important to keep Dan Guererro's words in the forefront while the "search" for Dorrell's successor seems to be going nowhere:

On expectations for the UCLA football program:

"I believe we can be a national player and you can define that however you want. I believe UCLA could be a program that is in the national rankings every year, that can knock on a BCS door, that can win the Pac-10 Conference. If you win the Pac-10 Conference, you have a chance to play in the Rose Bowl and you maybe have a chance to play in a national championship game. Is it hard here? Yeah, there are some constraints, there's no question about that. But, this is a great institution, a great place to be. And I believe that all of those things are possible; you cannot concede that they are not."

On an "important prerequisite" for the next head coach:

"I think if you were to talk about a prerequisite that's pretty important, it certainly would be [prior head coaching experience]. We will look at a broad array of candidates for this position and obviously someone who has had successful head coaching experience would be an ideal candidate. That being said, you never say never. You can to look at the candidate pool, you have to evaluate what's out there. This is not a place for just any coach as you well know."
"I think it's important that someone understands the West Coast to a certain degree, that's recruited out here. But that's not an absolute. We need to get the best coach that is the right fit for us, that understands our culture, that understands we want things done with integrity, that's just a great fit for our university. UCLA ties are not an absolute."

And finally, Guererro provides some reassurance that money should not be a roadblock to getting the right coach to come to UCLA:

"One of the positives during our tenure here in the last five years is we've really been able to build the resource base in our [athletic] program in a general sense. We raised a budget from $42 million when I first came in here to $60 million and we're still in the black. That tells you that we've done some things that are very positive and will allow us the opportunity to be more competitive in the marketplace as we move forward.
"Our assistant coaching pool is not wanting. Many of you believe that we're on the bottom of the barrel on the assistant coaching pool. We receive salary surveys from various sources; our assistant coaching pool may be second in the conference and I say that only because we don't know what one of the private schools pays their coaches. We built that assistant coaching pool over the course of the last three years to be very, very competitive in the marketplace. Many of you kind of missed that as we did that."

Georgia Tech identifed their ideal candidate, Paul Johnson, and hired him. Michigan was rejected by Miles and Schiano, two top-tier candidates before hitting a grand slam with Rich Rodriguez. Was UCLA's search firm in touch with these two coaches?

Meanwhile, UCLA is interviewing DeWayne Walker, John Harbaugh, Norm Chow, and Rick Neuheisel. Numerous media outlets have reported that Mike Leach has interest in the job, yet no interview has been set up. Steve Mariucci and June Jones have also apparently expressed interest, but no interviews have been set up.

John Harbaugh is not going to cut it.

I don't like what I'm seeing so far, and I am hoping that Guererro is working on something big that has not been leaked thus far. However, I'm not getting my hopes up.

We deserve better than the list that the vaunted "search firm" has produced thus far. We'll continue to stay on top of this "search" with the hopes that it will ultimately result in the hiring of a head coach befitting of UCLA's great tradition and enormous potential.

In the meantime, all eyes are on you Dan Guererro.

Go Bruins.