The UCLA Bruins have apparently decided to hire Jim L. Mora. Why? I don't know why. After Washington State found Mike Leach and Arizona hauled in Rich Rodriguez, this hire feels like a great big pile of "meh".
Meet Jim Mora UCLA fans. These are the warm encouraging words of the man that'll be leading you out of the desert.
Mora Jr. is most famous for being the son of Jim Mora, who is famous for his inane soundbytes to cover up the fact that he was one of the lamest fourth quarter coaches in NFL history (Mora has blown more fourth quarter leads than you can ever know). He ran, ran, ran the football late, even when he was calling things for the Colts, and had perhaps the greatest quarterback of all-time in Peyton Manning running things under center. It worked until he got to the playoffs, when his teams lost. His teams lost a lot of football games they otherwise should have won. Moras are good at that.
Mora Jr. decided to be even worse than his dad. At least his father knew how to use most of his players. Mora's personnel moves were baffling. Mora Jr. has the honor of being the only coach to lose in the NFC Championship Game to Andy Reid. He confined one of the most electrifying football players in NFL history in Michael Vick to the pocket. When his job was in jeopardy, he probably cajoled his father to bash Vick on the radio as a "coach-killer." Then he became the Seahawks head coach, where he was unremarkable, and then fired.
Anyway, it's an unremarkable hire. He has been an NFL guy his whole life, and most NFL head coaches have never proven they can handle the variety of college offenses you see on a week-to-week basis. And Mora will have a LOAD of different offenses to handle next year in the Pac-12.
Before you start sicking the name 'Pete Carroll' on me, Carroll at least coached in the collegiate ranks a decade before he went to the pros. Mora has one year of college football coaching experience (an assistant in Washington a half century ago). Besides, for every Pete Carroll there are seven Chan Gaileys, and Chan Gailey is definitely not want UCLA wants out of Jim Mora.
What exactly Mora will bring with regards to recruiting is beyond me, because he's definitely no innovator on the field and has virtually no connections in the high school ranks. He appears to have decent experience with secondary coaching and maybe defense, but other than that there just isn't a lot to go on. The biggest thing going for Mora is that he might be a very likable guy and that might endear him to recruits. (Of course, Rick Neuheisel was a likeable guy and he landed plenty of great recruits. He just couldn't get them to do anything of note on the field.)
What should be worrying to UCLA fans is that Mora has had his eyes on the Husky job. If the Huskies ever tired of Sark and Mora was even half-successful at UCLA, he might turn his eyes up to the Northwest. Don't believe me? He stated publicly he'd drop his coaching gig with Atlanta and become head coach of the Huskies he was with coaching Vick and the Falcons (you know, as a 'joke'). Everyman says those things if he's drunk; Jim Mora says these things sober.
So yeah UCLA. Mora might work out, but there's nothing to really feel hopeful about here. Second-rate NFL coaches usually become second-rate college football coaches. And UCLA football knows all about second-rate.