Casey Wasserman helps lead UCLA search for new football coach
LOS ANGELES — Casey Wasserman shelled out a reported $20 million to build UCLA a new football facility and the school’s deep-pocketed donor will now have a hand in deciding who gets to work in the building that bears his name.
Wasserman, along with Athletic Director Dan Guerrero, senior associate athletic director Josh Rebholz, and former UCLA quarterback Troy Aikman are leading UCLA’s search for a new head coach after the school fired Jim Mora on Sunday. The high-powered quartet got to work quickly, chasing former Oregon coach Chip Kelly.
The same day Guerrero fired Mora, the athletic director searching for his fourth football head coach was meeting with Kelly’s agent, Bruin Report Online reported. The twice-fired NFL coach turned TV analyst is also considering an offer from Florida, the Associated Press reported, as officials from Gainesville met with Kelly on Sunday, hours after UCLA dismissed Mora.
The news shocked players when they returned to campus one day after a hard-fought loss to USC. It was UCLA’s third straight loss in the crosstown rivalry after three straight wins at the beginning of the Mora era seemingly started to the gap between the two schools.
Yet with a new $75 million football-specific building and a record-setting apparel deal, the program likely felt it needed to act quickly to make a run at a flashy coaching name to go with its flashy new facility. It could not wait for Mora to push the Bruins into a low-tier bowl game, despite the distress the news caused players while they prepare for a regular-season finale on a short week with bowl eligibility on the line.
So UCLA acted swiftly. Mora stepped off the media podium at the Coliseum at about 9:30 Saturday night. The team had a meeting at 11 a.m. Sunday. Mora […]