It's Neuheisel

It took a while, but UCLA hired the right guy to take over as head coach. As we've said before, Rick Neuheisel was immensely successful at Colorado and Washington. He's also a popular UCLA alum who quarterbacked the Bruins to a Rose Bowl title. He has the dynamic personality to match Pete Carroll in recruiting, he is very smart, and he has a law degree. His 2000 Washington Huskies team should have played Oklahoma in the national title game after being the only team that season to defeat Miami, but the BCS computers disagreed.

Some have asked if Neuheisel is so smart, why did he get caught with so many recruiting violations. It's a legitimate question. But at one time, Neuheisel was reportedly so full of himself that he tried to push the limits of the NCAA rulebook. Sports Illustrated once wrote about an instance during a recruiting period when coaches were not allowed to meet with recruits in person, but could speak with them on the phone. Neuheisel reportedly flew to a recruit's house, stood across the street from the recruit's home, called the player from his cell phone, and told the kid to look out the window.

Neuheisel says that he's matured, and I believe him. He simply has too much to lose if he screws up again. He already sank about as low as any coach could, when he was stuck serving as the volunteer assistant for a high school team in the Seattle area. Now he's worked his way back into people's good graces, and he wants to leave a legacy at his alma mater.

As for DeWayne Walker, he's an outstanding defensive coach and he deserves to be a college head coach. Many UCLA fans have called for Walker to stay on as defensive coordinator. That's all fine and good, but he should only stay on if Neuheisel wants him to. One never knows how two people will gel, and it's uncertain if Walker will fit into Neuheisel's system. If they get along, then that's great. But it's certainly not the end of the world for the Bruins if Walker chooses to go to Washington and be Tyrone Willingham's defensive coordinator, or if Neuheisel decides to hire someone he feels he can work with better.

December 29, 2007 5:06 PM • Native Intelligence • Email the editor
 

© 2003-2014   •  About LA Observed  •  Contact the editor
LA Biz Observed
2:07 PM Sat | The funeral for Mark Lacter will be held Sunday, Nov. 24 at 12 noon at Hillside Memorial Park, 6001 W. Centinela Avenue, Los Angeles 90045. Reception to follow.
Native Intelligence
David Davis | Photographer Al Satterwhite shot Ali in Miami during his training sessions for both the Jerry Quarry and Joe Frazier fights. Now based in Redondo Beach, Satterwhite is facing a Kickstarter deadline to publish a book of photographs of Ali from that time, many never seen before.
Donna Perlmutter | The Australian Ballet provided plenty of entertainment, but the "white" scenes were not so white. Our critic, however, was "gobsmacked" by the LA Phil's Mahler.
Adrienne Crew | LA Observed interviews Inglewood resident Toni Ann Johnson about her debut novel, Remedy for a Broken Angel.
Al Martinez | Martinez observes a normal moment in a world of chaotic uncertainties. He sees no advancing terrorists in his yard or tanks rolling down suburban streets. It feels good. It feels normal.
John Schwada | The death of any newspaper is a sad occasion. But it was personal when I learned that the plug had finally been pulled on the San Francisco Bay Guardian.
Gary Leonard | Take My Picture Gary Leonard is a weekly feature of LA Observed.
Jon Christensen and Mark Gold | A long awaited state water bond will finally be decided on November 4th. LA could benefit significantly if Proposition 1 passes and the region acts as one to ensure it gets a fair share.
Phil Wallace | The Dodgers have hired baseball's best GM, says Phil Wallace, who used to work for the Tampa Bay Rays.
Bill Boyarsky
A conversation with City Atty. Mike Feuer is a trip through the nitty gritty of city government, starting with dangerous sidewalks and including graffiti prevention, medical marijuana regulation and aid to prostitutes who want a better life.
Jenny Burman
Before I lived in Echo Park, there was a tiny 1920s bungalow-cottage-standalone house on N. Occidental in Silver Lake. I...
Here in Malibu
Pix from the plane, one of my favorite things: Marina Del Rey: Catalina: Two Harbors: Somewhere over New Mexico: Wildfire...