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UCLA fires Mora after six seasons

The Sports Xchange

November 19, 2017 at 2:42 pm.

Nov 3, 2017; Salt Lake City, UT, USA; UCLA Bruins head coach Jim Mora (with headset) during the first half against the Utah Utes at Rice-Eccles Stadium. Photo Credit: Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

Nov 3, 2017; Salt Lake City, UT, USA; UCLA Bruins head coach Jim Mora (with headset) during the first half against the Utah Utes at Rice-Eccles Stadium. Photo Credit: Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

UCLA fired football coach Jim Mora on Sunday, one day after the Bruins lost to rival USC.

Mora was 46-30 in six seasons at the school. He was relieved of his duties despite having four seasons remaining on his contract, which was extended prior to the 2016 campaign.

The Bruins are 5-6 with a home game remaining against California. Offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch will serve as interim coach.

“Making a coaching change is never easy, but it’s an especially difficult decision when you know that a coach has given his all to our University,” athletic director Dan Guerrero said in a statement. “Jim helped reestablish our football program, and was instrumental in so many ways in moving the program forward.

“While his first four seasons at UCLA were very successful, the past two seasons have not met expectations. We thank Jim and his family for his service to our school and his unquestionable commitment to our student-athletes.”

The firing came on Mora’s 56th birthday.

Mora guided the Bruins to two 10-win seasons and an appearance in the 2013 Pac-12 conference title game. But UCLA was just 4-8 in 2016 and went winless on the road (0-6) this season while also having the second-worst run defense in the nation (allowing 288.7 yards per game).

UCLA said it will honor the terms of Mora’s contract. Mora reportedly made $3.55 million this season.

Former Bruins quarterback Troy Aikman will be part of the search committee to identify a new coach.

“We have no set timeline to make a hire but will move as expediently and comprehensively as possible,” Guerrero said. “We will not comment on the search or candidates until we announce a hire, and I would remind our passionate supporters that speculation, rumors and innuendo are just that.”

Mora also had a 31-33 record in four season as an NFL head coach. He went 26-22 and won a playoff game in three seasons (2004-06) with the Atlanta Falcons and 5-11 in one season (2009) with the Seattle Seahawks.

 

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