WESTWOOD—With the third act of his UCLA turnaround complete, Jim Mora may bow off the stage before its climax.
With memories of a 40-35 Alamo Bowl victory over Kansas State just days old, rumors of a potential job change circle the Bruins’ head coach.
Of course, this is nothing new. Not only for Mora’s time in Westwood, but the entirety of his coaching career. The son of respected NFL coach Jim Mora Sr., Mora has been a hot commodity for much of his adulthood, a status that has led him to head coaching jobs with both the Atlanta Falcons and Seattle Seahawks.
As recently as last year, Mora was considered a likely candidate to take over as head coach for his alma mater, the University of Washington. That job was easy to deny, a reality no better evidenced by UCLA’s 44-30 destruction of the Huskies in 2014.
After leading a once-mighty football program from the depths of mediocrity to perennial contention, the rumors are once more, gaining momentum.
First, there was the deletion of Mora’s Twitter account, a move many believed to be a reaction to the backlash the coach was receiving following his controversial midfield brush-off of Kansas State coach Bill Snyder.
The move eliminated both a valuable recruiting tool and a public medium of connecting with both players and fans. Mora could justify his actions by admitting an unwillingness to suffer the ruthless universe of social media.
But then came the news that Mora was scheduled to interview with the New York Jets, one of the more enticing coaching vacancies in football.
And while this news was quickly shot down, Mora’s name has been linked to a number of destinations, including San Francisco.
“We’ve heard from an array of sources close to the situation, and the majority feel Mora is just going through the paces and that he wouldn’t mind if it helped him leverage more support out of UCLA,” writes BruinReportOnline publisher Tracy Pierson.
Mora, currently under contract until 2019, is 29-11 in three seasons at UCLA, a far better record than he can boast during his combined time in Seattle and Atlanta. If the successful turnaround continues into year-four absent projected 1st-round quarterback Brett Hundley, expect his NFL courtship to continue.