Skip navigation
Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California

Top Stories

UCLA Fires Coach Rick Neuheisel

A 21-28 record and just one bowl appearance in four years led to the release.

Rick Neuheisel's tenure as head football coach at UCLA is officially over, according to the university.

In a press release, UCLA Athletic Director Dan Guerrero announced that Neuheisel will be "relieved of his duties" following the Pac-12 Championship Game this Friday, where the Bruins will take on Oregon.

Photo courtesy of Neon Tommy
Photo courtesy of Neon Tommy

Neuheisel was 21-28 in four years as UCLA's head coach, never beat archrival USC and coached the Bruins to a winning season just once.

The firing comes just two days after UCLA suffered a 50-0 beatdown at the hands of the Trojans, especially ill-timed following Neuheisel's comments that "the gap had closed" between USC and UCLA.

"Decisions such as this one do not come without a great deal of heartache," said Guerrero. "However, it is apparent to me that a move was necessary at this time in order to give UCLA the best chance to enhoy the succes that we all desire."

Neuheisel said at the Pac-12 title game teleconference he was thankful for his time as coach.

"Certainly when you’re the UCLA coach, you’d like to play better against USC. I know that," Neuheisel said. "We had our chances, but when you lose in the fashion we did, that’s a difficult pill to swallow."

The former UCLA coach said he did not plan on resigning before the Pac-12 Conference Championship Game and wished the team well against Oregon.

“I hope I’m not a distraction,” Neuheisel said. “I hope I’m some sort of help, in respect to the planning and how we go about it. We’ve been knocked down before this year, and somehow, some way, we’ve always responded. I hope we’ll respond the same way.”

Offensive coordinator and wide receivers coach Mike Johnson will take over head coaching duties on a interm basis following Friday's title game.

UCLA finished second to USC in the Pac-12 South Division with a 5-4 conference record and a 6-6 overall record. However, because of USC's sanctions, the Trojans are ineligible for the Pac-12 Championship Game, meaning the Bruins will represent the division against Oregon. If UCLA wins, they will represent the Pac-12 in the Rose Bowl, which Johnson would coach. Lose, and the Bruins would fall to 6-7, leaving them ineligible for any bowl game.

According to the university, "a national search for a permanent head coach will begin immediately."

RELATED:

USC Shuts out UCLA in Season Finale Blowout

USC vs. UCLA: Matt Barkley Postgame Interview

USC vs. UCLA: Marquise Lee Postgame Interview

COMMENTS
Leave a comment
Name:
E-mail:*
URL:
Comments:*

L.A. Residents Feel The Pressure of Increased Metro Fares


By Drennon Kimpton and Rachel Scott
09/15/14 | 9:57 a.m. PDT

L.A. residents will need some extra change to ride the metro as the fare rates increase.

Residents Speak out About Possible L.A.P.D. Drones


By Kay Angrum
09/15/14 | 9:55 a.m. PDT

The possibility of drones within the L.A.P.D. has residents worried.

USC Career Fair

Gordo the Dog Caught in the Middle of L.A. Police Chase

Sarkisian: "We're in a Really Good Frame of Mind"

Trader Joe's Coming to USC Village

We detected that you might be on a mobile device such as an iPad or iPhone. Sorry, at this time the video box is only visible on desktop computers.
MOST POPULAR

Urban Outfitters Swing and Miss with Controversial Sweatshirt


By mholm
09/15/14 | 6:03 p.m. PDT

Red stains on a sweatshirt made some shoppers squirm.

Accused Killers of USC Student Appear in Court


By Marc Sallinger
09/12/14 | 5:16 p.m. PDT

Friends of Xinran Ji showed up at court to show their support.