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Happy Neu Year BN

silverlakebruin already took up the diary title. But what the heck. There are lot of reasons to feel blessed, joyous and excited about 2008 as a UCLA Bruin.

You are looking at one of them:

Photo Credit/Source: UCLA Bruins Official Website

That's Coach Rick Neuheisel, Rose Bowl Champion & MVP, and now officially the 16th head football coach of our football program.

Click here to view a video of the press conference and link to a photo gallery of the news conference. KLAC 570 has also uploaded the podcast of the conference. (thanks Quickhands).

Class of 66 posted these initial reactions:

If you were an RN supporter you will love this press conference. If you were not, you will love this press conference. Anyone who listens should come away certain that he fully appreciates this job and that he will do everything, in the right way, to bring us back to excellence.

I was moved by the words, inflection and obvious emotion.

I love his depth, commitment, his sense of humor, and his humility.

I found particularly touching his remarks about Karl Dorrell. Yes, KD is a part of UCLA and always will be. I am pleased he is no longer our coach; but I am also pleased that RN will make him feel good about his time here and will keep him close to the family.
Perelman at What's Bruin has posted some of the rough transcript (emphasis mine):
Reflecting on his Bruin career that started as a walk-on and moved slowly toward his final game in which he was the Most Valuable Player of the 1984 Rose Bowl, he said "Today I stand before you experiencing the greatest thrill, to come back and be the head football coach at my alma mater, the greatest university in the land, UCLA."[...]

>> He had plenty of thanks to the Bruin coaches who came before him. Of Terry Donahue, for whom Neuheisel played and later became an assistant coach: "I owe him the greatest debt of gratitude, for getting me into this business, for believing in me as a player, believing in me as a coach and encouraging me to pursue this as a career.

"We’re going to try to take back the city in the same way you did in the early 80s and see if we can’t get ourselves into those New Year’s Day games on a regular basis, just like Terry Donahue did."

>> Of his immediate predecessor: "I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Karl Dorrell right now. Karl was a teammate and a great teammate. He wasn’t very talkative. He wore no. 8 and I wore no. 10, so our lockers were that close together and he was a sophomore before he said hello [big laugh in the room].

"I called him immediately upon hearing the news [of his hiring], before it had reached the public because I wanted to him to know that we’re going to carry on his legacy. He meant a great deal to this program and will always mean a great deal to this program. He’s a great man and a great leader and he’ll always be a Bruin. As long as I am in charge of this program, we are going to speak of Karl Dorrell in reverent tones."

>> Of Chancellor Gene Block and Guerrero, Neuheisel said that he appreciated that they were willing to look past his previous errors in judgment and thanked them for believing "that I can do this job and do it in a way that UCLA deserves it to be done, with the highest level of integrity and we can do it in a way that we can all enjoy it and be proud of it and also win, I can’t thank you enough. This is a dream come true for me and my family."
And I will end with this from Coach Neuheisel via Jill Painter:
"UCLA is magic," Neuheisel said. "On the East Coast, they heard I had this job and it was like I was the head coach of Oz, this was the Emerald City, that UCLA is at the Golden Gates and the truth is, it's not that far off."
Obviously we will have so much more....

But for now ladies and gentlemen congratulations to everyone in Bruins Nation.

We have gotten ourselves a football coach to go along with Coach Ben Howland.

We are blessed to be blue and gold bleeding Bruins.

Happy Neu Year BN.