We Want Walker

DeWayne Walker for UCLA head coach.

Archive for the ‘Coaching Search’ Category

Neuheuisel impresses in CBS interview

Posted by wewantwalker on December 29, 2007

I don’t know if you guys caught that interview on CBS, but I loved how much Neuheisel talked up Walker. Neuheisel even said something to the effect of “he’s going to be a head coach and soon, someone else is going to nab him.

Our message to you now, is the same as it was in the beginning.

DeWayne Walker will be a fantastic coach at the Division I level. He just won’t do it at UCLA.

final farewell post, tomorrow.

-WWW

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Neuheisel wants walker

Posted by wewantwalker on December 29, 2007

more soon. stay tuned

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Posted by wewantwalker on December 29, 2007

Agreed. We’ve had a lot of disagreement on this site, but most of it has been civil and I’m really grateful and thankful for that. I hope to move forward with that in our new site. I don’t mean to sound like a hippy, but I’m ready to start the Neuheisel era and I’m happy to see, for once, that blues and the cranks are now, for the most part, clues. or crues. or banks? branks? You get what I’m saying. When’s the last time that happened in UCLA football?

But if they dont’ retain D-Walk, I will cry. -WWW

WWW — We have disagreed on RN, but I nonetheless respect your upbeat attitude on the Bruins. I hope and trust that RN will prove to be an outstanding hire as HC, and I am sure you will also be glad if it turns out to be the better move.

Personally, and I have said this elsewhere, I would love to see DG, with RN’s full endorsement, give DW a decent raise from $330K to about $450K, on a 2-year deal (same as UW) and a bump-up to Asst. HC.

If they make that offer, and DW decides to go to UW anyway, then oh well, best of luck to him, so long as his interests don’t conflcit with ours.

Just because I think UCLA can be stronger NOW with RN as head coach, I don’t think UCLA will be as strong WITHOUT both RN anf DW here.

I hope he stays, too. If not, I wish him well.

MIM

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Mike Riley to interview?

Posted by wewantwalker on December 29, 2007

DG is interviewing Mike Riley tomorrow, per Perelman:

A credible source says that UCLA Athletic Director Dan Guerrero took a flight to San Francisco tonight for the purpose of speaking with Oregon State coach Mike Riley tomorrow morning about the UCLA head coaching position.

Alright. That picture creeps me out. Does that look like a 55 year old to you? He doesn’t look a day over 40 in that picture.

55’s a bit high. I’ll take Bellotti at 57 but that’s Bellotti. I think winning 8 games in 3/5 years is a hell of an achievement though. I like how his team started slow this year and picked themselves up.  But is this the best we can do?

 

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It’s a little more complicated than that (long)

Posted by wewantwalker on December 28, 2007

I’d like to get a comment thread started on this page about the Bruce Davis picture. I want to hear what you felt when you saw it. I want to know if it moved you as much as it moved me. 

Though Dohn reported that Harbaugh, Walker, and Neuheisel are the main candidates , I’m hearing that the net could have been casted a LOT wider than many thought and this search isn’t over by a longshot.

I wish BRO kept archive of their posts, but they don’t. Anyway I had a post a few days after Dorrell was fired that dealt with the coaching search as a sort of game theory. I used Chris Peterson as an example. Peterson said he was out of the running and that “he had no interest” in that place.  Many people took him for his word but it’s a little more complicated than that.

I’ll try and illustrate: Say Dan Guerrero wants  coach who is a current head coach of another team. Let’s call this coach Z. Z would jump at UCLA, but Z has two very important things he has to deal with:

1) Z is coaching a bowl game.

2) Z doesn’t want to look like a heartless jackass.

In college sports, it goes like this:

1) reality is perception.

2)perception is recruiting.

3)recruiting is winning.

I know some of you are saying, “Hey, it isn’t ALL about recruiting.”

Steve Lavin went to a buttload of sweet sixteens (5? 6?)by doing only the following:

1)recruiting

2) occasionally clapping for his players

 (We love Walker, first and foremost, because he is a ball coach and his recruiting prowess is secondary to that concept. Lavin never coordinated a defense)

Z wants to win the bowl game. He wants to prepare his team and go out on a win. A win in a decent bowl game would also help his side of contract negotiations so more cash.

But MOST IMPORTANTLY,  if Z is talking about other gigs while still being employed by a bowl-team, Z looks like a shameless, backstabbing, self-promoting hack (I hope that phrase isn’t copyrighted…haha [inside joke]). Z probably looked every single recruit in the eye and said he doesn’t plan on leaving, that he loves his current job, that he has no plans of leaving that the tradition at his school is special, unmatchable, etc.

Then we find out Z is talking to other schools about a head coaching gig, behind the school’s/players back? Before the last time some of those seniors will ever don their uniforms? In the biggest game of the year?

For instance, this uniform in this game?

Bruce Davis, you are my favorite bruin ever. 

I  proudly started the “Guns don’t kill people, Bruce Davis and Justin Hickman kill people” facebook group.

Many decent human beings would immediately call foul. That’s gonna hurt perception. That’s gonna hurt reality. That’s gonna hurt recruiting. That’s gonna hurt winning.  That’s going to seriously damage Z.

Bobby Petrino right now, despite his excellent abilities as a ball coach, looks like a jackass and a half. I would never coach for a guy who has tried to get five different jobs in five years and a guy who has lied so blatantly to his kids and others. Pat Forde wrote a FANTASTIC post that HAMMERED Bobby Petrino and echoes what I’ve just written:

In the coming days and weeks, the disingenuous drifter will say what Arkansas fans want to hear.

He’ll look at them with blank shark eyes and tell them, in a monotone voice, how excited he is to be the coach of the Razorbacks. He will tell them how impressed he is by the tradition and the fan base. He will tell them that the Southeastern Conference is the place he always wanted to coach (and that might be the one true thing he’ll say, given how many times he’s tried to land a job in the league).

It will be a trumped-up stump speech, as sincere as a politician’s pledge to cut taxes. It will simply be the latest pack of lies in a career full of them.

But it will be what Arkansas fans want to hear, and the poor saps will be desperate to believe him. During their arduous search to replace Houston Nutt, they’ve been used and abused by one-fourth of the coaches in the ACC — first Butch Davis, then Tommy Bowden, then Jim Grobe. Auburn’s Tommy Tuberville flirted for a minute as well.

So hiring a guy with a 41-9 college record will get the blood pumping. But those Arkansas fans ready to embrace their new hotshot coach and his pretty ball plays need to understand one thing:

Bobby Petrino

Joe Robbins/US Presswire

Bobby Petrino gave Louisville fans plenty of reasons to smile by going 41-9 from 2003-06.

The disingenuous drifter doesn’t love you or any other fan base. He doesn’t love any school or any NFL franchise. He loves himself, his playbook and his bank account.

That’s it. Don’t expect it to change.

 

Go read the rest of that article. After reading that, would you let your kid sign an LOI to go to Arkansas? Hell, do you think any kid with half a brain is going to sign it? Do you think any coach wants to carry a stigma like that from job to job?

Here’s my message to all Arkansas players that commit to Petrino starting in 2008 who don’t also have another offer from an SEC school:

Actually, screw the speech. Read all my posts on integrity. Arkansas boosters and AD, you should read it too. Note how Arkansas is a laughing stock right now. Petrino image has been seriously tarnished. So has Nick Saban’s. It could have been Miles, but…

Do you think Miles REALLY wanted to stay at LSU? No, he was backed into a corner. If he accepted the Michigan job, his credibility would be shot.  He wanted the Michigan job more than anything. He’d take a pay cut to go there, but Michigan would match that amount regardless. The dude had a “IF YOU END UP GOING TO MICHIGAN WE’RE GOING TO TAKE YOUR MONEY” clause in his friggin’ contract!  He was a Schembechler man, a Michigan man. Seriously, try googling “Michigan,” “Les Miles” and “Dream Job” together in one query. wow. Everyone is crediting the LSU AD for renegotiating that contract extension to get Miles to stay. As far as I’m concerned Kirk Herbstreit, deserves all that credit (note that Herby is from OSU…something smells funny). The report came out before the LSU championship game. Hours before it.

The players sat in the locker room and asked Miles straight up: “Coach, you got a flight to catch?”

What a person with any sense of decency say? “No.”

Coincidentally, What a completely self-interested shamless jackass say? “No.”

Can you imagine the backlash from having to admit that you’re goign to Michigan HOURS before the SEC game? His career would be OVER.

I wouldn’t doubt it if Miles actually did accept that job. At least from teh whole debacle we did get a gem. In the immortal words of our good poet and friend Kirk Herbstreit:

I will never gather news and report again

Thanks Kirk. Appreciate it. 

In general, the whole SEC coaching hiring process disgusts me. It’s always about the ends, and not about the means. I posted in my facebook a rant right after Ole Miss hired Houston Nutt, which remains to be the most disgusting hire of the season so far. It deserves its own post, so I’ll repost it here tomorrow. It’s probably going to piss off a lot of people, but I don’t care.

I’ve gone off topic and I apologize for that. The bottom line is I really have faith in Dan Guerrero. If we knew some of those coaches who still have a game to play were seriously in the running, then Dan Guerrero has failed both you and I. Everytime I read something going after Guerrero, i just crack a smile. Wait till after the search, then judge. Not a moment sooner.

I think Guerrero is doing a fabulous job setting up smoke and mirrors. He’s not telling us what we want to hear, he’s telling us what we NEED to hear. I, for one, have a hard time believing a friggin thing I read.

Just Neuheisel, Harbuagh, and Walker?

It’s a little more complicated than that.

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Walker NOT out of the running?

Posted by wewantwalker on December 28, 2007

While I love AM570, they are not a reliable news source. Like all news radio their job is to get listeners to listen and since its all on the radio, they won’t get quite as reamed if it was the written word. I have heard AM570 say so many crazy things over the years. After a while, you learn to take what they say with a grain of salt.

I also thought it was suspicous because, as a matter of common sense, UCLA will not tell Walker he is out of the running until they have another head coach in hand. It would be a slap in the face to say “Hey, we’re not sure who we are going to bring on, but DANG son it’s not going to be you.” Also, as a matter of common sense, if they did this it wouldn’t be suprising to see that, by the time they had a head coach picked out and they went to ask walker if he’d stay on, Walker would have already signed a deal with another team. That was a horrible run-on sentence but I’m too lazy to fix it right now. Long day.

Anyway, for all the stuff being thrown around about Dohn, Dohn’s blog is the best source of news. And I’m not just saying that because he linked to me (he wasn’t the only paper to link to me btw, The Seattle Times did too).  I’ve defended Dohn on this blog before that and I’ve always linked to his stories for a reason. Not only does he report stuff before everyone else, generally, but he is the top UCLA reporter because of his reporting philosophy:

All I can do is speak for myself and my philosophy. I treat my blog like an extension of a newspaper story. I do not run items without multiple sources confirming the story. I never did, and never will, deal with rumor in a newspaper story I write, or a blog entry I make. I will get beaten on a story before I will write something I did not confirm to be accurate. That is my approach. It always has been, and always will be.

That being said, Dohn is reporting that Walker is not out of the running.

Just so you know, in talking to my various sources, DeWayne Walker has not been told he is out of the running.

I’m going to trust Dohn on that one. While he’s not perfect, his reputation is built on the veracity of what he reports, not sensationalism like some radio stations or, *AHEM*, blogs.

😉

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Part II:Are Walker and Neuheisel mutually exclusive?

Posted by wewantwalker on December 28, 2007

Thanks to MIM for the heads up. According to Tom Dienhart (a fairly reliable source), Walker will stay at UCLA even if Neuheisel is hired:

Walker likely would remain at UCLA as defensive coordinator if Rick Neuheisel gets the head coaching job, according to a source close to Walker. Willingham is also talking to Walker about his opening as defensive coordinator at Washington.

Walker wants to stay at UCLA. He loves it here. His wife loves it here. His kid loves it here. His kid is a ucla commit.  The man wants to stay. I’ve said it a million times.

What do y’all think?

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Straight Outta Shakespeare

Posted by wewantwalker on December 28, 2007

There have been a lot of things said about the coaching search and the general pulse of the bruin fandom ain’t too happy with how thing are going right now.

So I’ve found myself asking this the last couple of weeks: “What the hell is wrong with UCLA?”

Dohn has commented on UCLA’s poor facilities and stringent academic standards here.  The thing is, I don’t think I can agree with the academic restrictions issue. UCLA’s last three classes, including this upcoming one, have shown quite a bit of star power. UCLA should upgrade its facilities, but it’s not like its all the way up in Oregon where it’s a necessity to attract recruits.

We’re UCLA. Yeah, I know that sounds a little cocky, but I think any fair-minded, reasonable person would agree that “UCLA” conjures up different images of greatness as opposed to say, “Western Mississippi State University.” I hope the latter doesn’t exist or I met get some nasty emails. 

I think the problem with UCLA hasn’t been institutional, I think it’s been the coaching. UCLA hasn’t had a truly great coach in decades. I would say Dick Vermeil was the last one.

And thats what makes this coaching search so dramatic and even tragic.  UCLA in recent years has hired inexperienced assistants as head coaches in football and basketball and, as I’m sure you know, they haven’t set the world on fire.

 The one time we get a gold mine like DeWayne Walker as an assistant is the one time where UCLA, just may be, overly insistent on hiring someone with experience. If Shakespeare wrote a play on a college football head coaching search (imagine that eh?) it might play out like this.

I’m not surprised that UCLA is still looking for candidates. Guerrero is between a rock and a hard place right now. On one side he’s got Walker who has no experience as a head coach and on the other he’s got RN whose lists of transgressions matches the length of some PHD dissertations. Every footstep is wrought with potential peril. What is our beloved AD to do?

I’m telling you. Straight outta Shakespeare. 

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Integrity

Posted by halfcourt on December 27, 2007

Surfing some sites, you’d swear that you can’t be a UCLA fan nowadays unless you find someone who you don’t like and then, immediately, attack his or her character.

So I looked real hard and dug up some integrity issues with Coach Walker and his players.When I first heard about the UCLA players gambling in Vegas I was appalled.

That is, until I saw this.

How dare the UCLA players do something legal in Vegas?

But I wasn’t done yet, I needed something else to hate. And then I was fortunate enough to read about our All-American, Bruce Davis, doing the unthinkable…he was actually slashing his arm across his throat at some BYU fans that were spitting on him.

As bitter UCLA fans looking for somebody to hate we should clearly reprimand Davis, Walker, Chancellor Block, and Snow White for these actions. Sure Davis didn’t murder his wife and throw away a glove or start one of these:

Sure Walker didn’t have 51 recruiting violations against him, choke a kid out, or serve as a role model like this guy:

But the perception on the internet is that Bruin fans cannot separate the person from the issue and we need to constantly question the integrity of good people.

Don’t you want to change that perception?

We do.

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A letter that puts ours to shame

Posted by wewantwalker on December 27, 2007

Bumped from the comments. Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. 

Just wanted to share with everyone the letter I sent to AD Dan Guerrero tonight in support of the hiring of coach Walker.

Dear Dan Guererro,

As a lifelong Bruin from a family of Bruins I write to you this evening in support of the hiring of DeWayne Walker as our next head football coach at UCLA. The list of reasons to hire Walker as our next coach is long so I will just take the time to touch on a few of the ones I consider to be of most importance.

In his two years at UCLA DeWayne Walker has successfully transformed the Bruin defense from one of the worst in the country to one of the very best, and he has done all that really without the help of any of “his” players. This year brought in some of Walkers prized recruits including Defensive Tackle Brian Price, who as you know is on many people’s Freshman All-American lists. The landing of Recruits like Brian Price from my understanding of coach Walkers responsibilities at UCLA is that he was instrumental in the recruiting process.The incoming freshman for next season have a bond with this man and some have even hinted to the fact that they might opt out of their commitments to UCLA if Walker is not retained. This outcome is without a doubt unacceptable in the eyes of me and I am sure most other UCLA Bruin fans and Alumni.

Walker is unquestionably a great coach with a fine pedigree.He has worked under Hall of Fame coaches including Joe Gibbs and Bill Belicheck, and he was also Pete Carroll’s first hire at USC when he became head coach across town. Simply speaking from a football standpoint, the man can flat out coach. I hope you were watching the same game I was last season when we beat USC 13-9. It was Walker’s Defensive game plan that led us to victory. Without a doubt if we had any other Defensive Coordinator in that game we would have lost. His presence in that game stood out that much!

I urge you to seriously consider coach DeWayne Walker for the position of head coach. Personally I do not want to see a retread with a sketchy past like Rick Neuheisel as our head football coach.He has left a black eye on two programs already, I don’t think the reward outweighs the risk for him to get the chance to do the same at UCLA. We have already been down that path with a coach who couldn’t command the respect of the program with Bob Toledo. Don’t let history repeat itself! I want a man with a plan for the present and for the future, I want a man of honesty and integrity, that can not only hold the respect of our players but the respect of the rest of the country. I strongly believe that DeWayne Walker is that man. It is no coincidence that other programs are lining up to try and woo coach Walker away from UCLA in the unfortunate (in my eyes) event that he isn’t hired as Head Coach. I hope you can see what they see in him, what the players and recruits see in him, and to a lesser extent; what I can see in the man.

I am pleading with you to make the right choice by keeping coach Walker in Westwood. Your coaching search should be about finding the teams next Offensive Coordinator, because the right man for the head coach job has already been found and he is on the staff as we speak. Go out and get that offensive coordinator who can make the Bruin offense as great as coach Walker’s defense. We will then have a complete and balanced football team on par with the finest programs in the country, those guys from across town included.

Very truly yours,

Chris ReichmanSection 4 row 9 seats 1-2

Poetry. Chris. Poetry. 

 

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