Could Jim Mora Really Leave UCLA This Time?

Jan. 1 -- We have the latest, inside information about the chances of Coach Jim Mora leaving UCLA...

There is a real possibility Jim Mora could be leaving UCLA, according to sources. 

The Miami Dolphins are known to be very interested in Mora for their vacant head coaching job, and sources close to the situation have indicated that Mora would seriously consider it. The Miami Dolphins organization is in the process of narrowing down candidates. The feeling is that it's between three remaining possibilities, and that Mora could very well be the leader among the three.  We don't have any details about the extent of the contact between the Dolphins and Mora at this point, however.

We do know that Mora has a close friend in the Dolphins' front office and that's helping to enhance his chances with that organization.  

There is also the potential for Mora to become the coach of either the San Diego Chargers or New Orleans Saints. Both organizations still have a head coach in place, but that could change as early as Monday, or "Black Monday," as it's called.  

It's generally believed the Chargers will fire coach Mike McCoy.  If they do, the Charger job, according to sources, would possibly become Mora's most desired NFL position.  It's known he'd prefer to stay in Southern California, and there is a real possibility the Chargers could move to Los Angeles. Even if they don't, it's believed Mora would still covet the Chargers job over others.  Some sources, though, aren't entirely confident that Mora would be considered the Chargers' first choice. 

There is a strong sentiment that current Saints' coach Sean Payton will leave New Orleans, and sources have said that Mora's past relationship with the Saints organization would make him a top candidate. 

Sources have told us the feeling around Mora is that he's more open to a return to the NFL at this point than he ever has been during his UCLA tenure.  Mora has been courted by college and NFL teams in the last three off-seasons, but this time, according to sources, it's more realistic he leaves UCLA.    

The timing, of course, isn't good for UCLA. It's prime recruiting season, up until National Signing Day on February 3rd.  It will especially intensify when the Dead Period ends Jan. 13th and programs can once again entertain recruits on official visits to campus and visit them at their home or school.  If Mora does leave, and the process of his NFL hiring potentially takes a couple of weeks, the UCLA head coaching search and filling out a coaching staff will almost certainly impact UCLA's recruiting efforts for the 2016 class.  Even if Mora stays, the process of Mora considering NFL head coachng jobs could set back UCLA's recruiting.  

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