Given the discussion in yesterday’s comment thread, this is going to be a timely post. John Wilner from the San Jose Mercury News has post up at College Hotline, listing the best Pac-10 coaches of the past 20 years.
Obviously it’s not a shock to anyone from BN that the worst UCLA coach since WW2 didn’t make that list. But guess who else is missing from that list: Karl Dorrell’s mediocre Godfather:
In my mind, Donahue underachieved in Westwood from 1987-95. He had all those players within two hours of campus, a terrific academic institution to recruit to and a mediocre crosstown rival.
And yet, during that span, Donahue finished first or second only three times — and two of those came when he had Troy Aikman
I went to UCLA during Doanhue’s later years. And despite his wins against Southern Cal and the title in Pac-10, I never thought much of him.
As I have mentioned before Donahue was a mediocre football coach at best who never got the best out of blue chip talents the UCLA football program stockpiled during the 80s. He was able to stick around Westwood for so long back in the 80s and 90s, because back then we Bruin fans did not have avenues to express the latent frustrations they were experiencing from constant chokes and let downs of the Donahue coached football program. Sure he took the Bruins to the Rose Bowl in 94, and ended with a 5 game winning streaking against the TrOJies, people still seem to forget he was responsible for the incredible letdown of hugely favored Bruin football team experience against the Badgers at our home turn back in 94.
Not only that, Donahue was an insecure head coach who was never confident in his abilities. So much so he did not have the balls to promote Neuhisel from wide-receivers coach to OC, when Homer Smith left the OC position for the second time in 1994, right after the Rose Bowl. Instead of promoting Neuhisel, Donahue decided to hire Bob Toledo, a loser OC from R.C. Slocum's Texas A&M program, who was never going to be a threat to TD, unlike Neuhisel.
Donahue was a joke, and is still a joke.. I am sure the Niners fans are so appreciative of what Donahue did to the dynasty Montana, Rice and Young built. Of course now we are stuck with Dorrell, a Donahue legacy who has turned out to be the worst coach in the history of UCLA football since WW2.
Thankfully times are different. We have a way to get our voice out, which was not available to overwhelming majority in the Bruin Nation who were sick and tired of Donahue's mediocrity during the 80s and 90s, but just didn't have a way to express it. Dorrell is not going to be able to cruise through mediocrity like his Godfather. If he doesn’t deliver this coming season, I am optimistic that voices for change generated from this community and other places will reverberate around UCLA community will put enough pressure on Morgan Center to spur DG (who thankfully is more in tune with UCLA fans unlike his incompetent predecessor "Pete the Stooge" Dalis) into action.