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Bye Dan

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“Fare thee well, Ogre”

UCLA Introduces Chip Kelly Photo by Josh Lefkowitz/Getty Images

Goodbye, Dan Guerrero. I didn’t want to get into specifics here on what is now Martin Jarmond’s first day, and I won’t. But what I will do, is at the very least, patch along Guerrero’s final message through a prepared statement on the UCLA website.

While Martin Jarmond’s first day has gone swimmingly, I might add, Guerrero’s final day of yesterday seemingly went as you’d expect, with no real presence from Guerrero himself.

While he’s now in the rearview, he did leave a final message that attempted to sum up his time at UCLA.

Dear Bruin Faithful,

Deciding what to write in my final message to the Bruin community as UCLA’s Athletic Director is no easy task. How do you properly say goodbye after 18 years? How do you adequately express your immense gratitude and appreciation for the opportunity of a lifetime and for the people who have become family over two decades?

It is hard for me and my wife, Anne Marie, to come to grips with the fact that this incredible journey has come to an end. In some ways, it feels as though we’ve come full circle, but in other ways, things still feel unsettled and unfinished. I’d venture to guess that a lot of people feel that way right now, given what’s going on across the country and world as a result of both the COVID-19 pandemic and the senseless killings of George Floyd and others. There’s not one person whose daily life and existence has not been affected, and there are many questions still yet to be answered and more work to be done. During this time of uncertainty and change, I have felt my admiration and love for UCLA grow stronger as I’ve witnessed, yet again, the resilience, strength and compassion of the Bruin community. I have been particularly proud to see the responses of our student-athletes.

As difficult as it is for me to leave my chair in the midst of a time fraught with so many unknowns, I have the utmost confidence in the new leadership of Martin Jarmond. As I shared in my message shortly after he was announced, Martin has the energy, the integrity, the drive and the understanding of Power Five college athletics to have a profound impact on our University. In addition, our tremendous athletics staff at all levels of the organization will continue their work, committed to the excellence that we all demand. I know that our department – home to one of the preeminent athletic programs in the country – is in a position to navigate the future unknowns as well as any in the country, always with the best interests of our student-athletes in mind.

We have experienced some incredible wins and tough losses together over the years, but I am so proud to have led this program every moment of the last 18 years with integrity. I will walk away knowing that we emphasized doing things the right way — not with a “win at all costs” approach. Winning is great, and we did win a lot, but at the end of the day, I’m most proud of how we won. I’m also incredibly proud of the champions we have developed here. Not just those student-athletes who have gone on to play professionally, but also the majority of former student-athletes who have gone on to make a difference in their communities and in the world.

I take pride in the fact that we have tried to uphold UCLA’s esteemed tradition of supporting barrier breakers and innovators. I also take great comfort in knowing that Coach Wooden was proud of how we conducted our business. Building a relationship with him was one of the greatest honors that this role afforded me. He was the kind of man – the kind of person – that you aspire to be. For me, he was a guiding light that I never wanted to veer from.

Through it all, the tremendous privilege of serving as the steward of this storied program, at my University that gave me so much, has never been lost on me. It has been an honor that I will carry with me for the rest of my life.

It has been the privilege of a lifetime to serve as your Director of Athletics. I will continue to cheer on the Bruins at the Rose Bowl, in Pauley Pavilion presented by Wescom, at Jackie Robinson Stadium and at all of our venues in the years to come, and I look forward to seeing equally passionate Bruins. Thank you for your support of UCLA Athletics.

Go Bruins, Forever!

Dan

As Fiona once remarked to Shrek, ‘fare thee well, ogre’ — fare thee well, Dan.