Texas interested in Jim Mora

Jim MoraJim Mora has been a hot name for college football vacancies after successfully turning around the UCLA Bruins football program. He was mentioned as a candidate for the Washington Huskies vacancy — a position he previously described as his dream job — and now he’s been mentioned in connection with the Texas job.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported on Thursday that Texas is interested in Mora as a possible replacement for Mack Brown.

Mora turned down Washington and agreed to a contract extension with UCLA, so you might figure that he is comfortable sticking with the Bruins. But Texas is much different from Washington and UCLA. It is a football school with a great football history and tradition. It’s one of the most prestigious coaching jobs in the country. Texas also has incredible resources and the potential to double what Mora is making at UCLA.

Unlike the Washington job, UCLA cannot even come close to matching what Texas can offer Mora. I wouldn’t even be mad at him if he left for that opportunity. But I will say that UCLA appears to be a great fit for him, and maybe it’s not in his best interest to leave a situation that’s going really well.

Jim Mora gets distracted by reporter’s insanely colorful pants (Video)

Jim-Mora-reporter-pantsUCLA head coach Jim Mora had plenty to talk about after his team’s dominating win over Virginia Tech on Tuesday night. The Bruins beat the Hokies 42-12 in the Sun Bowl. When a reporter asked Mora how UCLA was able to have so much success against a typically stingy Virginia Tech defense, the coach found himself a bit distracted.

“Let me ask you a question,” Mora replied. “Where did you get those pants? I think those are great.”

As Jill Painter Lopez of the LA Daily News pointed out, the reporter appeared to be wearing Loudmouth Golf pants. Loudmouth is one of the leading brands in colorful golf attire. He jokingly told Mora that he got the pants from his closet.

If you want to steal the show in the media room after a bowl game, just wear rainbow pants. Clearly it works.

Jim Mora will remain at UCLA, gets 6-year contract extension

Jim MoraJim Mora will remain at UCLA rather than take the head coaching position at Washington.

The Bruins later announced that Mora had agreed to a six-year contract extension that runs through 2019.

CBS Sports’ Bruce Feldman first reported that Mora would be staying at UCLA.

Interestingly, when asked by the Sacramento Bee on Tuesday about the Washington job, Mora said he couldn’t comment, perhaps because UCLA was planning to announce the extension.

There was a lot of speculation after Steve Sarkisian was named the head coach at USC that Mora could leave Westwood for Seattle. Several years ago, Mora described the Washington job as his dream job and one he would crawl to get. But he is building a good thing at UCLA and apparently won’t be leaving.

LBS had been hearing on Monday and Tuesday that Mora would be staying at UCLA. His top priorities have been improving the practice/football facilities on campus and getting more money for his staff. UCLA already agreed in September to spend $50 million on a new on-campus facility, and they have made some more promises to Mora, who has been tearing up the recruiting trail since beating USC on Saturday.

The LA Times’ Chris Foster says UCLA promised to improve the pay for Mora’s assistants and to improve the football infrastructure. Here’s what UCLA wrote about the new football facility in their press release announcing the Mora extension:

The planned state-of-the-art facility, located on the west side of Spaulding Field, the practice field for the Bruin football team, is intended to house a locker room, athletic training area, strength and conditioning facility, coaches’ offices, team meeting rooms, equipment rooms and video rooms, in addition to several elements that will feature the storied history of UCLA Football.

Jim Mora reportedly had meeting with Washington AD

Jim MoraIt might be time for UCLA Bruins fans to start panicking.

Jim Mora reportedly had a meeting with Washington athletic director Scott Woodward on Monday night, not long after it was announced that former Huskies coach Steve Sarkisian accepted the head coaching job at USC.

Football Scoop reported news of Mora’s meeting with Woodward:

Details of the meeting were scarce:

Bryan D. Fischer said that he was hearing the same as Football Scoop regarding a meeting.

CBS Sports reporter Bruce Feldman said he heard Mora was in California recruiting:

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Would Jim Mora consider leaving UCLA for Washington job?

Jim Mora UCLANow that Jim Mora’s “dream job” at Washington is open, would he consider leaving UCLA to take it if the Huskies came calling?

Before Mora was fired as head coach of the Atlanta Falcons in 2006, he said during an interview with Seattle radio station KJR that he wouldn’t hesitate taking the head coaching position at the University of Washington, if it were available. At the time, Ty Willingham was the Huskies’ head coach.

“Well, I really have a lot of respect for Ty, and I know he’ll do a great job,” Mora said in the interview with KJR. “But if he ever decides to move on, and get in the NFL, or, you know, go back to Notre Dame or whatever, if that job’s open, you’ll find me at the friggin’ head of the line, with my résumé in hand, ready to take that job.”

Mora, a UW alum, later said he was joking, but the damage was done. He recently said that that comment cost him his job with the Falcons. Saying he would ditch the Falcons job even if he were in a playoff run probably didn’t help his image in Atlanta.

“Now, I want to see Ty succeed, and I want to see that program succeed,” Mora told hosts Softy Mahler and Hugh Millen. “But if he decides at some point that he’s ready to move on and they want me, I will be there. I don’t care if we’re in the middle of a playoff run, I’m packing my stuff and coming back to Seattle.”

That’s how Mora felt about the Washington job in 2006. As you can tell, it was his dream job.

Mora was a walk-on player at Washington, and his father was a coach under legendary Huskies coach Don James. He grew up in the Pacific Northwest and has long expressed his affinity for the area. The Washington program has nicer and newer facilities than UCLA — they just completed $280 million worth of renovations to Husky Stadium — and it has a winning tradition. They also don’t have quite as difficult of a rival to compete with as UCLA, so there is a lot of appeal to that job, particularly for Mora.

Mora has done some impressive work at UCLA in his two seasons. He has turned around the program, beaten USC twice, and commanded respect within the conference. He also is flipping the town in terms of recruiting. But he has expressed dissatisfaction with UCLA’s facilities, particularly the practice field on campus that isn’t even 100 yards in length. It wasn’t until September that UCLA announced plans for a $50 million new practice facility. With that project possibly years away from completion, Mora may not want to wait.

With things heating up for him in Westwood, would he want to move to the job that many thought was his dream position? The timing of the job opening is poor for him; why leave when he just got UCLA rolling? Then again, if he wants his ideal position in his hometown, there might not be a better chance to take it.

Also, keep in mind the way Mora was talking after beating USC on Saturday:

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UCLA disrespects USC in Coliseum after win

UCLA has been dominated by USC in the crosstown rivalry for the last decade, so the Bruins were justifiably fired up after beating the Trojans in the Coliseum 35-14 on Saturday. The win marked UCLA’s first win at the Coliseum since 1997; it was the first time the Bruins have won back-to-back games against USC since 1997-1998; and the 21-point win against USC was the program’s largest margin of victory at the Coliseum. They had plenty of reasons to celebrate, but the Bruins disrespected the Trojans in their celebration.

First up, as reporter Beto Duran showed, UCLA players spiked flags into the ground at midfield of their rival’s stadium:

Keep in mind that UCLA made a specific threat to USC last year that if their drum major planted a sword in the logo midfield at the Rose Bowl, they would prevent them from marching at halftime.

Then outside the locker room, Jim Mora yelled “we own this town” while addressing his players:

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Jim Mora accidentally gives camera the USC fight on sign

Jim Mora USC fight on

UCLA Bruins head football coach Jim Mora attended the big Chaminade-Oaks Christian high school football game in Westlake Village, Calif., on Thursday night, and the Bruins savior was caught by FOX Sports West TV cameras in an unfortunate pose.

Mora probably just thought he was giving the camera the peace sign and didn’t even realize he was doing USC’s “Fight On” hand symbol. Oops! Maybe he’ll be more conscious about that in the future. And maybe he’ll make it up to Bruins fans by calling USC “Southern Cal” again like he did last year.

Image via Twitter/Rich Hammond