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A Special Morning After: A New Beginning for Bruins Nation

After nine amazing years, leadership torch gets transferred on BN.

Gary A. Vasquez-US PRESSWIRE

Over 9 years ago Nestor, Odysseus and Ajax launched Bruins Nation.  A big reason for their launching this community was their collective frustration with the stale conversations in various Bruin online communities where a majority of fans were not all that concerned with the lack of success of our football team under the incompetent leadership of Karl Dorrell. They believe there was a demand among reality-based UCLA alums, students and fans for a community where Bruins could reasonably expect the very best from coaches and administrators leading various UCLA programs upholding the standards of the greatest university in the country.

Bruins Nation also holds a very unique place in SB Nation, which has become fastest growing network of fan-centric communities in the internets with over 300 blogs. At its inception, it was the first non-baseball blog on SB Nation which started as a network of MLB bloggers.

Many folks didn’t think Bruins Nation would last. A lot of apologists for Karl Dorrell tried to shut this place down. A number folks in the blogosphere  thought that Bruins Nation was a single-issue blog dedicated only to the firing of Karl Dorrell. Well, we are still here — in a big way.

A lot has changed related to UCLA Athletics in last nine plus years. Karl Dorrell is gone as is Coach Rick Neuheisel who replaced him. Coach Mora has the Bruins on the verge of what we hope will be a very special football season. After 3 straight Final Fours, Ben Howland was not able to adapt and has been replaced by a coach of questionable character.

But one thing has not changed.

Bruins Nation has been there, each and every day, watching every move that anyone associated with UCLA Athletics makes. This community has shaped the conversation and done something no one else seems to be doing – holding UCLA administration accountable for their actions and their performance.

The official launch date was June 15, 2005 - when Nestor blogged the first post. Since then this community - a blog of the Bruins, by the Bruins, for the Bruins - has exploded into one of the most dominant blogs in the entire SBN network.

In the time since the launch of this community, there have been almost 9,000 articles posted, over 9,000 Fan Posts, over 7,500 Fan Shots and more than 365,000 comments and the community has grown to over 8,500 members.  That’s an average of roughly 3 posts per day, 111 comments per day and 2.6 new members per day every day for nine years.

With over 59,964,931 pageviews and 24,608,024 visits since its inception, Bruins Nation is the most dominant blog in the Pac-12 conference and one of the premiere blogs in the entire SBN network (not just among college networks). Don’t forget we also have over 8,300 followers of @BruinNation and another 2,800 fans on Facebook.

Over the years a number of our posts have been linked up or featured in the New York Times,, ESPN, CBS Sportsline and many other traditional media outlets. In other words, no other UCLA online community has the kind of digital footprint across multiple platforms as Bruins Nation.

All we can say is "Wow!"

That is absolutely unbelievable. We can’t help but wonder if Nestor and the other 2 founders could even imagine what Bruins Nation would become when they launched it nine years ago.

Throughout the nine years that Bruins Nation has existed, one person has been the driving force behind it all and that’s Nestor. He is the person most responsible for building this community into what it is today.

So, why are we taking the time right now to celebrate the success of Bruins Nation?

Well, it’s because Nestor has decided that the time has come to pass the torch to the next generation of leadership and we felt that it’s important to recognize and honor Nestor for amazing job he has done building this community into what it has become today.

Effective today, JoeBruin15 and I are assuming the roles of Co-Managing Editors.

After 9 years, Nestor decided a few months ago that it was time to hand over the reins and looked to see if any of us was foolish enough to take on the thankless daily task of keeping the best UCLA blog in the Internet running at full speed.

We volunteered anyway.

Since then, we have been working closely with him, other front-pagers, and our colleagues from the SBN mothership during the transition to make sure Bruins Nation maintains the identity and the quality that have made it what it is. Let’s make something clear -- Nestor's stepping aside was his idea and his choice alone. And, he is not saying goodbye. There won’t be any "goodbye" post from him - because he will be here with us in the community. We are not going to let him go.

We'll do our best to fill his shoes and he'll still be a key part of this community, lest we think we can start slacking.

We both look forward to continuing the work that Nestor started. We both hope and aspire that we can accomplish half of what he has with this site.

We will continue to expect the best from the UCLA Athletics Department and the UCLA administration each and every day and we will continue to challenge those folks to "perform at their best when their best is required." As Coach would say, "your best is required every day."

We want to continue to grow and build this community. We would like to take this transition as an opportunity to tweak the tone of the site a little.

We know there are folks out there who aren’t fond of Bruins Nation. Some of these people don’t feel that the opinions expressed on Bruins Nation reflect the views of all UCLA alumni, students and fans. As we move forward, we want to encourage all members of UCLA online communities to join in our discussions in a positive, well-reasoned manner.

That may sound vague and we realize that it will probably raise some questions. We are currently in the process of answering those questions ourselves. In the coming weeks, we expect to revise our community guidelines to make that more clear. In the meantime, if anyone has a suggestion, question or concern about anything regarding this site, we encourage you to contact either of us directly via email. Our email addresses are gbruin1991 at gmail dot com and joebruin15 at gmail dot com.

We look forward to hearing from the members of this amazing community. We know we have very big shoes to fill and we are honored to be the next caretakers of what Nestor has built.

Thank you, Nestor, for all your hard work and for trusting us with this community going forward!

Go Bruins!