Info & Speculation on Staff Changes

Bruin Report Online has gathered some information from various sources about the status of UCLA's two coordinators, what possibly Head Coach Rick Neuheisel intends to do, and then we dabble in some speculation about it, too...

Bruin Report Online has learned that it's expected Head Coach Rick Neuheisel will let go Defensive Coordinator Chuck Bullough.

We've heard that Neuheisel has a certain candidate in mind as the replacement, a coach he's worked with in the past that has had considerable success as a defensive coordinator. We've heard, too, that this coach isn't necessarily happy where he currently is working and could be motivated to make a change.

Also, we've learned that there's a very good chance that Offensive Coordinator Norm Chow will also leave the program. Even with Chow having recently signed a two-year extension, sources are indicating that Neuheisel and Chow could decide it's best for Chow to leave. This is not implying that there is any tension between the two, but that it's a development many feel is in the best interests of all involved, including the UCLA program.

We've heard from various sources that there has been some frustration over Chow's play-calling. First, we've heard that Chow has struggled a bit to get the play called properly and on time. Sources are also indicating that Neuheisel took over a greater percentage of the play-calling duties in the Arizona State and USC games.

We've also heard that there is some intention for one more assistant coach to be replaced.

So, then here's our speculation on the coordinator situation:

We believe that Neuheisel will have to find some considerable money to pay the defensive coordinator he has in mind, and believe that Neuheisel recognizes this and is doing what he can to make it happen.

We also believe that it wouldn't be much of an issue to find the money to buy Chow out of his contract.

In terms of whom Neuheisel might consider for the OC position if Chow does indeed leave the program, in our opinion, a very viable alternative would be for Neuheisel to call the plays himself. He could hire a coach who ostensibly would have the title of offensive coordinator, whose primary job would be to prepare the game plan for the week, but for Neuheisel to then take over the responsibility of most of the actual play-calling in the games. Neuheisel has always been a play caller, and only really suppressed the role when he hired Chow, which was understandable, given Chow's resume. It could be a very viable idea, especially since the money that Neuheisel could save in not having to find a very expensive OC could then go toward the DC he covets. It would also pretty much solve the issue of the Pistol scheme. If Neuheisel went out to find a new coordinator, more than likely his candidates would want to bring in their own, preferred scheme, which would be a third new scheme in just four years under Neuheisel. From what we've heard, Neuheisel believes the Pistol has the chance to be successful, but it would then be pretty difficult to find a proven OC that could run it. If Neuheisel called the plays, it would give him a chance to keep the Pistol for at least another season, giving it a chance to develop.

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