Jim Mora has shunned the place he spent his collegiate football days in order to remain head coach of the UCLA Bruins.
Mora and the Bruins have agreed to a six-year contract through the 2019 season per the team's official site. Athletic Director Dan Guerrero announced the news:
Jim Mora has established himself as one of the preeminent coaches in all of college football. Under his guidance, UCLA football has garnered national recognition for its success on the field, in the classroom and in the community. 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 released a statement to coincide with the announcement:
I want to thank Dan Guerrero and Chancellor Gene Block for their tremendous support. This further commitment the University has made is crucial as we continue in our pursuit of excellence. From day one our goal has been to win championships, and with our tremendous staff, our incredible student-athletes and our dedicated administration, UCLA will win championships. We’ve only just scratched the surface of our potential, and as a Bruin fan, I’d be chomping at the bit just to see what UCLA football is going to do next.
CBS Sports' Bruce Feldman himself had previously weighed in on Mora's possible jump:
Mora likes what he has going with UCLA, though. And he should.
The Bruins posted a 9-5 record and 6-3 mark in the Pac-12 last season to win the Pac-12 South title in Mora's first year with the school. This year the Bruins (9-3, 6-3) sit at No. 18 overall in the BCS and await a bowl bid.
Under Mora, the Bruins have back-to-back nine-plus-win seasons for the first time since 1997-98 and also defeated USC in consecutive seasons for the first time since 1997-98.
Mora gave a passionate speech about his team after its 35-14 win at USC, per ESPN's Kevin Gemmell:
I’ll tell you what -- it’s nice to have it now for two years in a row. It tells you what’s going on at UCLA. It’s an exciting time at UCLA. It’s an exciting time to be a UCLA Bruin. You want to play for a fun, tough, hard-nosed football team that can go and win games everywhere, come to UCLA. … There is something growing there that is pretty special. And to come in here on a Saturday night like this and get a win, it tells you where this program is headed.
Conversely, Washington went 8-4 this season and must pick up the pieces in the aftermath of Sarkisian's departure.
Mora has endlessly been linked to Washington throughout his coaching career. He owns a house in the area, was a walk-on defensive back from 1980-83, appeared in two Rose Bowls and was a graduate assistant coach in 1984.
Alas, Mora has the Bruins as a team on the verge of being a powerhouse once more in the Pac-12. The team can now put all distractions to the wayside and focus on its impending bowl game.
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