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And the new UCLA football head coach is...


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Former offensive coordinator for the Baltimore Ravens, Rick Neuheisel!

From: http://uclabruins.cstv.com/sports/m-footbl.../122907aae.html

Rick Neuheisel, who quarterbacked UCLA to victory in the 1984 Rose Bowl and who compiled a record of 66-30 as a collegiate head coach, has been named his alma mater's 16th head football coach, Bruin athletic director Dan Guerrero announced today.

The energetic and personable Neuheisel returns to the collegiate ranks after spending the past three seasons in the NFL. In his eight years as a college head coach at the University of Colorado and the University of Washington, he fashioned a record of 66-30, winning at least 10 games on three occasions and finishing in the Top 10 on three occasions, and led his teams to seven bowl games. His winning percentage of .688 places him among the top 20 active coaches with at least five years in the Football Bowl Subdivision. He was also recognized as one of the nation's top recruiters during his college coaching days.

"Rick has enjoyed great success throughout his career and we believe he is the coach who can take our program to the next level," said Guerrero. "His teams at Colorado and Washington continually challenged for conference championships and national rankings and that is what we are looking to do at UCLA.

"Rick is an outstanding coach and recruiter. He is outgoing and personable and can motivate our players, fans and supporters. We believe he is well equipped to lead the program and attain the success all Bruin fans wish to achieve."

"I know there are some issues in Rick's past that concern our constituency. We have discussed those at length with Rick and have investigated those issues with the NCAA. It has been at least five years and, in some cases, more than 10 years since the incidents occurred. We believe Rick has learned from those incidents and that he is more mature and experienced in the areas of compliance."

"I am thrilled to be returning to my alma mater as its head coach," said Neuheisel. "UCLA is a special place and I want to thank Dan Guerrero and Chancellor (Gene) Block for the opportunity to come home. We are going to build a program our supporters will be proud of, both on and off the field. I can't wait to get started. I made some mistakes earlier in my career and I take responsibility for those mistakes. I have learned from that experience and I would never do anything that would reflect negatively on UCLA."

Neuheisel, 46, spent the last three seasons as an assistant coach for the NFL's Baltimore Ravens. He served as quarterbacks coach in 2005 and 2006 and in January of 2007, was promoted to offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach. With the Ravens, he worked with quarterbacks Kyle Boller, Steve McNair and, most recently, 2006 Heisman Trophy winner Troy Smith.

During his four seasons (1999-2002) as head coach at the University of Washington, Neuheisel led the Huskies to a record of 33-16 (.673) and four bowl games (one Rose Bowl, two Holiday Bowls and one Sun Bowl). His Pac-10 record was 23-9 (.719) and Washington won one league title and finished second twice in those four seasons. The Husky offense averaged over 390 yards per game in each season, topped by 420.7 in 2002 (17th in the nation) and 407.9 in 2000 (35th).

In his final season, the Huskies finished 7-6 and tied for 4th in the Pac-10 while ranking fourth nationally in passing offense (346.2 yards per game) and earning a spot in the Sun Bowl.

In 2001, Washington finished 8-4 overall and second in the Pac-10 with a 6-2 mark, earning a trip to the Holiday Bowl. The Huskies faced five teams ranked in the final AP Poll that season, winning three of those games.

In 2000, Neuheisel led the Huskies to an 11-1 record, a first-place finish in the Pac-10 and a victory in the 2001 Rose Bowl. It was a year of great comebacks as Washington trailed in eight of its 11 wins and recorded five straight fourth-quarter comebacks. It marked the first time Washington had won 10 games since 1991 and the school's first Rose Bowl title since that same season.

In 1999, his first season in Seattle, Washington finished 7-5 but finished second in the Pac-10, earning a trip to the Holiday Bowl. Neuheisel became the first coach in school history to lead a Husky team to a bowl berth in his first season.

During his four seasons (1995-98) as head coach at the University of Colorado, Neuheisel won 33 of 47 games (.702) and won all three bowl appearances. In his final season, Colorado finished 8-4, including a 51-43 victory over Oregon in the Aloha Bowl, and the Buffaloes ranked 13th nationally in total defense that year. In 1997, Neuheisel suffered his only losing season as a collegiate head coach (5-6) but Colorado still led the Big 12 in passing offense (232.4).

During the 1996 season, Neuheisel recorded his second straight 10-2 season, including a 33-21 victory over Washington in the Holiday Bowl, and finished second in the Big 12 North. The Buffaloes were ranked eighth on both polls and outscored opponents 319-199 while setting a school record by winning 10 consecutive road games. That team produced three All-Americans, including Butkus Award winner LB Matt Russell, and averaged 452.1 yards of offense, including 303.5 in the air, while allowing just 315.5 yards to opponents.

Neuheisel's 20-4 record in his first two seasons were the fifth most wins at the time for a first-time head coach in the Football Bowl Subdivision (Division IA).

In his first season as a head coach (1995), Colorado finished fifth on both major polls. He guided the Buffaloes to a 10-2 record (the best ever by a first-year CU coach) and an appearance in the Cotton Bowl (a 38-6 win over Oregon), becoming the first rookie Colorado coach to take a team to a bowl game.

Neuheisel spent the 1994 season as a Colorado assistant coach under Bill McCartney after going to CU from UCLA.

Neuheisel spent six seasons (1988-93) as an assistant coach at his alma mater. During his final four years he tutored the wide receivers, helping to develop some of UCLA's all-time great receivers, such as J.J. Stokes, Kevin Jordan and Sean LaChapelle. In 1993, Stokes helped the Bruins reach the Rose Bowl while setting school records with 82 receptions, 1,181 yards (since broken) and 17 touchdowns. LaChapelle made 73 receptions in 1991 and Jordan made 45 as a sophomore in Neuheisel's last year (1993). In 1990, three Bruins - Scott Miller, Reggie Moore and LaChapelle - all made at least 35 receptions for at least 600 yards.

Neuheisel joined the UCLA staff full-time in 1988 and coached quarterbacks for two seasons, including NFL Hall of Fame quarterback Troy Aikman's senior year (1988). Aikman earned consensus All-America honors and finished third in the Heisman Trophy race, completing a school record 228 passes (since broken) for 2,771 yards, a .644 percentage and a school record 24 touchdowns (since broken). Aikman was the No. 1 selection in the 1989 NFL Draft.

In 1986, he served as a volunteer coach and his major assignment was to teach the offense to a transfer from Oklahoma who had to sit out the 1986 season - Aikman.

The new Bruin head coach also played some professional football. In 1987, he played in three games with the San Diego Chargers and started twice. He completed 40 of 59 passes for 367 yards and one touchdown and also ran for a score. Against Tampa Bay, he completed 18 of 22 passes for 217 yards and a touchdown, setting a team record for completion percentage in a game (81.8%). He also spent two seasons (1984 and 1985) in the United States Football League (USFL), playing with the San Antonio Gunslingers. In his rookie season, he completed 211 of 385 passes (.548) for 2,544 yards and 14 touchdowns. Neuheisel began his collegiate career at UCLA (1979-83) as a walk-on, holding for place kicker John Lee, and earned the starting quarterback job during his senior season (1983). He led the Bruins to the Pac-10 title after a 0-3-1 start, earning honorable mention All-Pac-10 honors while completing 185 of 267 passes for 2,245 yards and 13 touchdowns. His completion percentage of .693 that season is still a school record. In a classic game against Washington, he completed 25 of 27 passes for a then-NCAA record .926 completion percentage in a 27-24 victory. That mark is still a UCLA record.

In his final game as a Bruin, he overcame food poisoning to lead UCLA to a 45-9 victory against Illinois in the 1984 Rose Bowl. He was named the game's MVP after throwing for 298 yards and four touchdowns. In 1998, he was inducted into the Rose Bowl Hall of Fame for his efforts.

During his career, he completed 198 of 290 passes for 2,480 yards and 15 touchdowns and his completion percentage of .683 is also a school record. Neuheisel earned his Bachelor's degree in Political Science in 1984. In 1986, while he was tutoring Aikman as a volunteer, he attended law school at USC and earned his degree in May of 1990.

Born February 7, 1961 in Madison, WI, he grew up in Tempe, AZ, attending McClintock High School. He and his wife Susan, a UCLA graduate, have three children, Jerry, Jack and Joe.

I'm excited.


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Well, who knew that old rat would return to the coaching ranks... Better yet, he's back in Pac 10 country.

I, for one, cannot be more happy to see him return so Washington can kick the crap out of his crummy Bruins. You know how embarassing it is to lose a coach who was the last guy to send the team to a bowl game over something as dumb as betting on an NCAA Tournament pool?

To me, this is a chance to possible exercise some demons because, well since he left nothing has gone well.

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YES! I'm not really excited that UCLA got Rick, just that Batimore got rid of him (Maybe we can get an offense?).

Honestly though, I have a feeling Rick's going to do something stupid like he did at Washington and send the Bruins into a tailspin, but hopefully he can get his career back on track.

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YES! I'm not really excited that UCLA got Rick, just that Batimore got rid of him (Maybe we can get an offense?).

Honestly though, I have a feeling Rick's going to do something stupid like he did at Washington and send the Bruins into a tailspin, but hopefully he can get his career back on track.

Eh, I feel that's he's learned from his mistakes. haha

For people who have no idea on what we're talking about:

Neuheisel was fired in the summer of 2003 from the University of Washington for participating in a neighborhood pool for the NCAA Basketball Tournament. He first denied the accusation to investigators, and before admitting to it after consultation with school officials. The gambling case became a local sensation when it was revealed that he had received an internal UW memo which authorized gambling in off-campus tournament basketball pools. That fall, the NCAA infractions committee found Neuheisel violated NCAA rules against gambling but didn't sanction him, citing the memo by Washington's former compliance officer that mistakenly authorized this type of gambling. It also became apparent that the NCAA violated its own rules when questioning Neuheisel about the gambling. Legal proceedings enabled Neuheisel to collect a $4.5 million settlement and essentially clear him of wrongdoing as the NCAA and University of Washington were forced to abandon their case.

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Mark May had an interesting take on this situation. He basically said that because Neuheisel took on the NCAA and won to the tune of $4.5 million, he will have to run the cleanest program in the history of college athletics or UCLA will find itself on probation. At first, I thought he was talking crazy. However, based on the irrational rules and inconsistent enforcement practices that we have seen a plethora of times, I don't think anyone could really dismiss it, you know?

Based on his past scandals AND the rousing failure Baltimore's offense has been under Neuheisel (it's not like they've ever had a good offense in B'more though), I think it's a questionable hire. I will give the university credit for getting a proven winner with some NFL experience, which will always be a selling point with high-profile recruits, as well as a guy is enough of a "personality" to compete with the guy across town. Plus he's an alum, and for whatever reason, that's a big deal in today's college athletics landscape.

While some people may question his recruiting prowess, if you can build top 10 programs at Colorado and Washington, you've got to be doing something right. Karl Dorell was simply not getting the job done (he is an alum, too). May as well shake up the cobwebs a little bit, remind us of some of the glory days of old, and give people a reason to talk about your program again, especially since the Pac-10 has been a wholly owned subsidiary of Southern Cal lately.

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