The very fact that Jim Mora turned UCLA around in such a short time has already put him back on NFL watch lists. With multiple NFL vacancies open, could an NFL lifer like Mora be considering a jump back into the pro ranks?
Chargers prez Dean Spanos on field before Holiday Bowl. He just got done talking to UCLA head coach Jim Mora. Let speculation get feverish.— UTKevinAcee (@UTKevinAcee) December 28, 2012
#Chargers owner Dean Spanos greeting UCLA Head Coach Jim Mora before the game...no, it's not what you're thinking... twitpic.com/bq05f1— Marty Caswell (@MartyCaswell) December 28, 2012
Local FOX station is saying Mora is up for Chargers job.— Lisa Horne (@LisaHorne) December 31, 2012
The UCLA job is cushy, but it's by no means a destination job. The Bruins stumbled to finish 2012 in losing their final three games, and they now face a daunting 2013 schedule. A Pac-12 South crown is nice, but there are no guarantees the Bruins can take the next step, particularly with the way the team floundered down the stretch.
Mora has spent one year in college and talked about enjoying the experience, but you have to imagine he'd enjoy the challenge of coaching an NFL team again. He was a below .500 coach in the NFL, but he'd be stepping into a fixable situation with the Chargers. They have a good quarterback and a decent offense that can score along with the best of them; perhaps a coaching change is just what San Diego needed, and who's better equipped at providing a breath of fresh air than Mora?
There is probably nothing that'll come out of it. But remember that Mora has been an NFL guy and is generally well-respected around the league, and that UCLA might have to consider a contract extension soon and they might not be quite ready to commit that. There's a lot that could factor into this decision if Mora is San Diego's first choice (which we don't know).