UCLA inks Mora to extension, fends off Washington
UCLA agreed to a six-year extension with football coach Jim Mora
on Tuesday night, putting him under contract through 2019.
The Bruins moved swiftly to fend off any potential advances from
Washington, where Mora was a walk-on defensive back and a graduate
assistant more than 30 years ago. The Huskies have a coaching
vacancy after Steve Sarkisian left Monday for USC.
”This is an exciting time for UCLA football, and the continued
commitment our administration has provided gives us every chance to
reach our goals,” Mora said in a statement issued by the
university. ”This staff came here with a commitment to win a
national championship. That commitment stands.”
Mora has been an immediate hit in Westwood in his first
significant college football job after 25 years in the NFL. UCLA is
18-8 in his two seasons, returning to national prominence heading
into the Bruins’ second straight trip to a bowl game.
No. 17 UCLA (9-3, 6-3 Pac-12) routed rival Southern California
35-14 at the Coliseum on Saturday for Mora’s second straight win
over the Trojans. The Bruins won the Pac-12 South last season and
finished second this year, one game behind Arizona State.
”Jim Mora has established himself as one of the pre-eminent
coaches in all of college football,” UCLA athletic director Dan
Guerrero said in a statement. ”We are excited about the commitment
Jim has made to our student-athletes and this university, and feel
this extension further demonstrates UCLA’s commitment to building a
championship-caliber football program.”
Mora seemed to be a tantalizing candidate for Washington, which
has been rebuilt into a perennial bowl team by Sarkisian.
Mora played at Washington under famed coach Don James and once
described the Huskies’ top position as his dream job. He and his
wife, a former Huskies cheerleader, stayed in the Seattle area in
2010 after the NFL’s Seahawks fired him after one season.
But Mora’s family and charitable foundation are becoming
increasingly entrenched in Los Angeles. The Moras’ son, Cole, is a
soccer player at Claremont McKenna, a short drive east of
The school didn’t announce terms of Mora’s contract extension,
which must be approved by the University of California Regents.
Mora got a five-year contract worth more than $11 million when he
arrived at UCLA, and he received a one-year extension worth $2.5
million last year.
UCLA is planning a $50 million football training complex for its
Westwood campus to bring the Bruins’ facilities up to the lofty
standard of most Pac-12 programs. Mora also has spoken of wanting
more money to pay assistant coaches to live on UCLA’s pricey
Mora should have a powerful team returning next season after
giving extensive playing time to young players this season. UCLA
also might get another year from quarterback Brett Hundley, who
said Mora’s future would impact his decision on entering the NFL