Update Late Friday, Dec. 14th:
UCLA Athletic Director Dan Guerrero interviewed Rick Neuheisel this afternoon.
Update earlier Friday:
UCLA Athletic Director Dan Guerrero will interview Tennessee Titans offensive coordinator Norm Chow on Saturday in Kansas City, since the Titans are playing the Kansas City Chiefs.
Guerrero interviewed DeWayne Walker, the defensive coordinator and interim head coach, on Monday.
There is very firm support within the program for Walker as head coach. A group of players went to Guerrero to voice their support recently. We know the UCLA administration wants adamantly to keep him on as defensive coordinator at least. As we've reported, UCLA believes Chow and Walker would be a good fit together.
There are many within the program that want Guerrero to wait to hire a coach until after the Las Vegas Bowl next Saturday, to give Walker a chance to "audition" for the job.
News reports have indicated that June Jones, the head coach at Hawaii, would want to bring his entire staff with him if he were the UCLA head coach. Jones continues to deny he's spoken to UCLA, even through intermediaries. There are many close to the program that feel Jones wouldn't consider the UCLA job seriously, but is only trying to use UCLA interest to leverage a better salary with Hawaii.
We continue to hear the name of UTEP head coach Mike Price mentioned. We haven't heard that an interview has been arranged yet.
The name of Brian Kelly, the coach at Cincinnati, has also been mentioned as possibly receiving some interest from UCLA.
We still believe it's highly unlikely that UCLA would show legitimate interest in Rick Neuheisel, the former Washington and Colorado coach and current offensive coordinator with the Baltimore Ravens, as a candidate. There are many close to the program that support Neuheisel, however, and are pushing for an interview. We've heard it's now possible Neuheisel could get an interview, to try to placate the Neuheisel supporters. But we've also heard that Guerrero would hire Walker as head coach before he'd consider Neuheisel.
We still hear from a source that the possibility of Steve Mariucci, the former NFL head coach, is still alive. UCLA and Mariucci, apparently, were far apart in terms of head coaching compensation, with Mariucci wanted in excess of $2 million per year. UCLA's budget, from all accounts, is somewhere in the $1.5 to $1.7 million range.
UCLA has its biggest recruiting weekend of the season thus far starting today. Nineteen of the 21 recruits verbally committed to UCLA will take their official visit, with many considered "soft" verbals, either having visited other schools or with plans to visit other schools. We've heard that Walker is focused on convincing the recruits to stick with their UCLA commitment and that he has already indicated to a few that he's very confident he will be back with the program next season. Many of the recruits have said that retaining Walker is critical for them in remaining committed to UCLA. Recruiting Weekend Story.